12 Austl. Int'l L.J. 129 (2005)
The Prosecutor v Vincent Rutaganira

handle is hein.journals/austintlj2005 and id is 129 raw text is: Case Note

The Prosecutor v Vincent Rutaganira
I.    Introduction
On 14 March 2005, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda delivered its
judgment finding Vincent Rutaganira guilty on one count of crimes against humanity
(extermination))   The Trial Chamber subsequently         sentenced   Rutaganira   to
imprisonment for six years pursuant to article 3 of the Statute of the Court.2 The
shortest sentence imposed by the Court to date, the judgment proffers an interesting
insight into the Tribunal's sentencing considerations, specifically the role of mitigating
circumstances. The Tribunal has, in effect, been producing a 'common law' regarding
international crimes, and thus this note offers some insight into the application of
sentencing principles at the international level and some preliminary reflections on
the law of sentencing as it has evolved at the Tribunal.
2.     Background Facts
Rutaganira, born in 1944, was elected Conseiller for Mubuga, Gishyita commune,
Kibuye pr6fecture, Rwanda in 1985, and acted in this capacity until 1994. He therefore
held this post at the time of the genocide and at the time of the events that led to the
charges against him.
During 1994, Rutaganira had come to know of earlier clashes in the pr6fecture,
wherein the Tutsi population had taken refuge in churches, and knew that, in a similar
vein, between 8-15 April 1994 thousands of Tutsi were seeking protection in Mubuga
church. Rutaginira observed a mob of attackers, but did not act to protect this group
from them. Subsequently, between 14-17 April 1994, thousands of those who had
gathered in the church were killed or injured by the mob.
I The Prosecutor v Vincent Rutaganira [2005] ICTR-95-1C-T <> as at 23
April 2007.
2 Statute of/he International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genodde and Qther
Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territoy of Rwanda and Rwandan
Ciins Responsible for Genocide and Oher Such Violations Committed in the Tertot of Neighbouring Slates,
between 1Jantauy 1994 autd31 December 1994, adopted by Security Council Resolution 955 (1994) of 8
November 1994, as amended by Security Council Resolutions 1165 (1998) of 30 April 1998, 1329
(2000) of 30 November 2000, 1411 (2002) of 17 May 2002, and 1431 (2002) of 14 August 2002,
<http://www.un.org/ictr/statute.html> as at 23 April 2007.

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