[Review of: Eltringham Nigel (2019) Genocide Never Sleeps. Living Law at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda]

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Abstract

International tribunals come and go. By the 2020s, it became clear that the international community had less appetite for international justice than in the early 1990s. Against the background of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations’ (UN) International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) — one of the only ever two fully powered UN tribunals — was a unique past phenomenon. Its unfinished business lives on in the UN’s International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT). Following the arrest, in mid-2020, of the ICTR’s main fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, its Arusha branch will convene the last major international trial. While awaiting the proceedings, and to get a taste of what the ICTR was about, one ought to read Nigel Eltringham’s latest book, with the eye-catching and distressing title Genocide Never Sleeps. It stems from a lawyer who joked, at 1 O’clock in the night over drinks at the ICTR’s popular hangout Via Via, ‘genocide never sleeps and neither should we’.1 It alludes to both what has become a trope for the mass murder of Rwandan Tutsi – proverbially carried out when ‘God was sleeping in Rwanda’ — and to sleepless nights working on complex and haunting cases. No matter how provocative, unsettling and confusing, this utterance illustrates how some lawyers were ‘living the law’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Criminal Justice
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 04 May 2021

Keywords

  • Rwanda
  • ICTR
  • Genocide

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