Telesphore Ngarambe, “Practical Challenges in Customary Law Translation: The Case of Rwanda’s Gacaca Law” (OSSREA, 2015)
Manage episode 215139310 series 2421491
Gacaca, a Kinyarwanda word referring to a type of grass or traditional lawn, is also a metonym for place and mediation. Gacaca law allows perpetrators and victims to resolve their differences before the community, and a panel of eminent persons, inyangamugayo. Gacaca seeks not simply to punish crime but to repair the social fabric rent by crime.
In his book Practical Challenges in Customary Law Translation: The Case Of Rwanda’s Gacaca Law (Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa, 2015), Telesphore Ngarambe uses a fusion of cultural and translational studies, with emphasis placed on cultural contextualization, to make a unique contribution to the study of Gacaca law.
Ngarambe argues that as law is embedded in culture and society, of which language is an integral part, legal language of necessity reflects the culture and society in which it is embedded. Rwanda’s three official languages mean that Gacaca law, articulated in Kinyarwanda, must now also find expression in the colonial languages with which it coexists, namely English and French.
Though modern Gacaca law has come in for criticism, it has also been hailed as a model for indigenous responses to crimes of mass violence in Africa and other parts of the world.
Mireille Djenno is the African Studies Librarian at Indiana University. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
111 episodes available. A new episode about every 24 days averaging 53 mins duration .