Dr Nicola Palmer analyzes the role that international criminal law in the extradition, deportation or domestic prosecution of Rwandan nationals.
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.