A related aspect of restorative justice is the ability to create a historical record. Courts are thought to be appropriate mechanisms for such endeavors as they invite dialogue from all parties, and also because survivors often value official acknowledgement of the wrongs they have suffered. In some cases, people remained uncertain about what had happened to loved ones, and finding out their fate through gacaca has provided emotional closure, or more pragmatically, the requisite information to find bodies for a proper burial.
The extent to which ordinary Rwandans are free to construct this narrative, however, remains in question.
-- Shannon E.Powers, a Ph.D. candidate at George Washington University, in a new ASIL Insight entitled "Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts: Implications for International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice." (credit for photo of gacaca session)