n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Penal rehabilitation in the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda : pardon and commutation of sentence

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



This paper seeks to critique the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda's (ICTR) application of sentencing theory that justifies retribution and general deterrence as a means of contributing to the Rwandan reconciliation processes. Moral justification based on desert is founded on the notion of inflicting pain on the perpetrators so as to condemn and express social disapproval for heinous crimes in the strongest terms while deterrent moral justification is about deterring others from committing similar crimes. The purpose of this article is to illustrate that the application of these theories results in the violation of the right to rehabilitation and pardon, on one hand, and has a negative impact on reconciliation, on the other, and that, in order to avoid this, punishments should comprise of rehabilitative theories so as to transform detainees thereby making them conform. This includes pardoning certain detainees.

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