Law school takes part in Rwanda Tribunal project

A group including a contingent from Seattle University School of Law will participate in a compelling presentation, "Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal: Genocide and Justice," from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, in room 120 of Kane Hall at the University of Washington.

Recent events in Congo, Darfur and Somalia underscore the persistence of genocide as a political, legal, ethical and humanitarian problem. In 1994, the Rwandan genocide lasted only 100 days but left more than 800,000 dead, a rate of killing far higher than any other previous genocide. In response to the Rwandan genocide, the United Nations in 1994 created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The presentation will be given by University of Washington Information School Professor Batya Friedman and a team of experts from Seattle University School of Law and UW. "Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal" is part of a UW multi-lifespan research initiative intended to help future generations understand and learn from the Rwanda genocide, develop an improved system of international justice, and contribute to a process of healing and peace. A series of compelling videos will give voice to the judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, administrators, interpreters, investigators, jailers, psychologist and others associated with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Last fall, Friedman and former Superior Court Judge Donald Horowitz, a Seattle University Trustee, led a team of information scientists, legal experts and award-winning cinematographers to Rwanda and Tanzania. The team, which included former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Utter; former U.S. Attorney and Seattle University School of Law Professor from Practice John McKay and SU Law Professor Ron Slye, conducted 49 in-depth video interviews with participants in the tribunal. For the first time ever, both the professional and personal experiences of lawyers, judges and others directly involved with such a court or tribunal have been brought together, collected, and preserved. That didn't happen at Nuremberg on in Cambodia or South Africa. These materials will be made fully available to the public in Rwanda, throughout Africa, and the rest of the world.

As the ICTR begins to wind down, the team can begin to ask: What quality of justice has this tribunal delivered? How might the tribunal contribute to reconciliation? What can be learned from the ICTR that will assist in preventing future genocides in Rwanda and elsewhere?

Due to the topic, some of the content may be inappropriate for children. The video interviews contain no confidential information.

The registration deadline for this event has passed.