Charles Bandora is arrested on arrival at Kigali International Airport on 10 March 2013, observed by John Bosco Siboyintore, the current head of the Rwandan Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit, a specialist branch of the National Public Prosecution Authority.
Image: Charles Bandora is arrested on arrival at Kigali International Airport on 10 March 2013, observed by John Bosco Siboyintore, the current head of the Rwandan Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit, a specialist branch of the National Public Prosecution Authority.
International criminal law and international refugee law have widely been considered to be mutually re-enforcing. However, this assumed compatibility fails to take sufficient account of how responses to allegations of involvement in an international crime are often embedded within domestic immigration laws and serve multiple expressive functions. To examine these domestic entanglements, this paper draws on an independently generated dataset of 120 cases concerning 100 Rwandan nationals decided in 20 countries around the world. This dataset enables an analysis of the role that international criminal law is playing in their extradition, deportation or domestic prosecution. It argues that the differences in legal reasoning across these cases are underpinned by the different types of expressive work done by these legal proceeding. These cases communicate not only an on-going commitment to recognising the universal wrong of genocide, but also more ambiguous messaging about what constitutes a fair trial in Rwanda, who constitutes a ‘criminal migrant’ and, to a Rwandan audience, the transnational penal reach of the Rwandan state.
Dr Nicola Palmer is a senior lecturer in criminal law at King's College London. She is the author of 'Courts in Conflict: Interpreting the Layers of Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda' (OUP, 2015, paperback, 2018) and recently guest edited a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society on the methods used to formulate, implement and assess transitional justice processes. Since 2014, she has been an advisor to the Aegis Trust's 'Research, Policy and Higher Education programme' (RPHE) in Rwanda. Nicola was previously the Global Justice Research Fellow at St Anne's College, University of Oxford and convened the Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) network from 2011-2013. She received her DPhil in law from the University of Oxford in 2011. Prior to this, she worked at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, following her undergraduate in law and economics at Rhodes University, South Africa. Her broad research interests are in international criminal law, transitional justice, central African studies and legal anthropology.