Primary Source

Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 1994

Annotation

Established in November of 1994 by Resolution 955 of the United Nations Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was intended to try those responsible from the Rwandan genocide ethnic Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu and other Rwandan violations of international law from January 1st to December 31st of 1994. Similar to its sister tribunal, the ICTY, the ICTR had jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the Geneva Conventions. The ICTR characterizes itself as the “first ever international tribunal to deliver verdicts in relation to genocide, and the first to interpret the definition of genocide set forth in the 1948 Geneva Convention,” as well as “the first international tribunal to define rape in international criminal law” and its recognition “as a means of perpetrating genocide.” However, the ICTR was widely criticized for its failure to prosecute war crimes by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the ruling political party of Rwanda, or to try its leader, Paul Kagame. Many characterized this as “victor’s justice” by many authors in journals of human rights and international law. The Tribunal was officially closed on the 31st of December, 2015.

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Text

As amended by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994 (hereinafter referred to as “The International Tribunal for Rwanda”) shall function in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute.

Article 1: Competence of the International Tribunal for Rwanda

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute.

Article 2: Genocide

1. The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons committing genocide as defined in paragraph 2 of this Article or of committing any of the other acts enumerated in paragraph 3 of this Article.

2. Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

3. The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 3: Crimes against Humanity

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons responsible for the following crimes when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population on national, political, ethnic, racial or religious grounds:

(a) Murder;

(b) Extermination;

(c) Enslavement;

(d) Deportation;

(e) Imprisonment;

(f) Torture;

(g) Rape;

(h) Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds;

(i) Other inhumane acts.

Article 4: Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II

The International Tribunal for Rwanda shall have the power to prosecute persons committing or ordering to be committed serious violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, and of Additional Protocol II thereto of 8 June 1977. These violations shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(a) Violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular murder as well as cruel treatment such as torture, mutilation or any form of corporal punishment;

(b) Collective punishments;

(c) Taking of hostages;

(d) Acts of terrorism;

(e) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, rape, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault;

(f) Pillage;

(g) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilised peoples;

(h) Threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

Credits

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), 31 January 2010, https://unictr.irmct.org/en/documents

How to Cite This Source

"Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, 1994 ," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/statute-international-criminal-tribunal-rwanda-1994 [accessed December 3, 2021]