San Diego International Law Journal


Leo C. Nwoye

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



A major question for post-conflict governments to consider is how best to shape reconciliation efforts. This Article examines two transitional justice mechanisms that were utilized in Rwanda’s post genocide era and assesses their contributions to reconciliation. The two principal approaches which emerged in the Rwandan context were the establishment of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), via the international political community whilst grassroots efforts within Rwanda were channeled through the gacaca court system. While each of these systems, though unintended and incoherent hybrid justice strategies, possessed strengths and weaknesses, this legal pluralist structure nevertheless yielded positive reconciliation results.

The Article posits that this legal pluralist system did not represent a perfect mechanism for attaining all reconciliation goals. It did, however, function to facilitate reconciliation as a process that demands transitional justice individually and collectively, as well as highlight gaps in the system that were largely and ostensibly filled by a number of constructive initiatives instituted by the Rwandan government in their continued reconstruction of Rwanda.