How to bring about justice after genocide?

Core features of the practice

  • Organisation:

    Institution name: RCN Justice et Démocratie
    Institution type: Non-profit organization
    Institution URL:
  • Format:

    Seminar, Training, Workshop
  • Target population:

    Legal professionals
  • Cost (per practice):

  • Setting:

    Other institution, No specific setting required
  • Themes:

    Remembrance education and/or history education, Human rights/discrimination, The Holocaust and/or other genocides
  • Core activities:

    Group discussion, Film viewing, Slide presentation

Additional information about the practice

    Target population

  • Number of participants:

    Up to 14
  • Age of target population:

    26+ years
  • Additional specifics:

  • Components of the practice

  • Topics and objectives:

    How to bring about justice after international crimes; the genocide in Rwanda as a case study, a 26-minute film about 3 magistrates who were involved in the process of justice after the genocide in Rwanda. The objective is to try and answer these questions : - How to bring about justice in society torn apart by so many perpetrators and victims? - Which role did they place in this endeavour? - And what did this mean to them personally?
  • Materials used:

    Written or other published material, Audiovisual material, Online material
    Link to the material:
  • Material produced:

    Not applicable
  • Sequence of activities - methodology:

    Session 1: How to bring justice after international crimes? Context: Introduction to the history of Rwanda: The run-up to - and legal response to - the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi in 1994. Exposition: The possibilities and limitations of (inter)national justice, universal jurisdiction and alternative forms of Transitional Justice. Session 2: What role does the judiciary play in a polarizing society? Context: The role of the magistracy before, during and after the Rwandan Tutsi genocide in 1994. Deepening: What influence can the magistracy exert (or not) to counteract polarisation in our society? How can polarisation be recognised and how can it be dealt with through Bart Brandsma's polarisation model? Session 3: What challenges does the magistrate personally face in dealing with these intense cases? Self-reflection: How to deal with challenges of impartiality? Focus on the person of the magistrate, his personal preferences and experience. What is the possible influence on the case? Exploration: How to ensure sufficient mental resistance when dealing with these often emotionally difficult cases?
  • Length of activity:

    Other, 3x 2-3hours
  • Is the activity digital?:

    Yes: no link
  • Accessibility and replicability

  • Language(s) in which activity can be delivered:

    Dutch, English, American, French
  • Is specialist knowledge or professional training required?:

  • If yes, which type?:

    Legal training

Qualitative Details

  • Has this practice been evaluated?

  • How many times?:

  • By whom?:

    Participants, Informal non-participant observer
  • By what means?:

    Informal verbal feedback, Qualitative written feedback
  • Core content knowledge and transferable skills:

    Critical understanding of the genocide in Rwanda and justice mechanisms put in place; understanding international and transitional justice; enhancing the ability to understand and respond to crimes of mass violence
  • Indicators of success:

    Repeated demands from training institutions for legal professionals.
  • Educational coordinator contact details:

    Name: Wasja Rijs
    Email address:


The RETHINK project is concerned with bridging formal and informal education. This section explores the factors that make a practice adaptable.

  • Key factors for successful implementation:

    Subject expertise of presenter/instructor
  • Main challenges to teachers adapting this practice for their students:

    Understanding justice mechanisms (international justice) Knowing the history of the genocide in Rwanda and which justice mechanisms were put in place
  • Availability of guidance/training/replication materials (and in what language/format currently):

    Presentation in Dutch, English and French
  • Other comments or details: