© 2005

Accountability for International Humanitarian Law Violations: The Case of Rwanda and East Timor


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIV
  2. Pages 1-6
  3. Pages 153-190
  4. Pages 241-286
  5. Pages 287-338
  6. Pages 339-349
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 351-384

About this book


The main objective of this book is to make available to an informed audience a le­ gal and policy oriented study on accountability for serious human rights and inter­ national humanitarian law violations. It is an attempt to share the lessons learnt in accountability for atrocity crimes as conducted by the International Criminal Tri­ bunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). The former established subsequent to egregious atrocities that took place in 1994, and the latter following the massive outburst of violence in 1999. The book is based on two cases: Rwanda and East Timor. It is expected that it will serve as reference literature to both the legal community and policy makers on accountability for heinous international crimes. As the international community and States, following serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations have painfully come to terms with their obligations to bring to justice persons in high offices or leadership positions, de jure or de facto, alleged to have committed such crimes, it has also become im­ perative that beginners mistakes be avoided. When the International Criminal Tri­ bunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established in 1993, and the ICTR in 1994 and commenced their pioneering mandates there was no template on which the prosecution of individuals most responsible or with the greatest responsibility could be cast. Accountability had to be experimental.


East Timor Genocide International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda International Criminal Tribunals International Humanitarian Law Ruanda serious human rights violations

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Judge, High Court of TanzaniaDar es SalaamTanzania

About the authors

Mohamed Othman is currently Senior Legal and Justice Sector Reform Adviser with UNDP, Cambodia. His previous assignments included that of Prosecutor General of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in 2000-2001; Chief of Prosecutions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1998-2000), and Senior Legal Adviser in the Office of the Prosecutor of ICTR, since 1996. He served as a lead prosecuting counsel in the case involving the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda. Mr. Othman holds a LLB (Hons) from the University of Dar es salaam, and a MA from Webster University in Geneva. He has published numerous scholarly works on International Humanitarian Law.

Bibliographic information


From the reviews of the first edition:

"The book represents a bold examination of complex international affairs which are both politically and legally fluid. It is a detailed, critical account of the factors that led to atrocities committed by and with the sanction of state organs against innocent civilians … . The work demonstrates commendable academic rigour and research. It is well researched and referenced, and is supplemented by a glossary and an explanation of acronyms and abbreviations used within the tribunals." (Guy Cumes, Criminal Law Forum, Issue 17, 2006)