Thursday, 8 May 2014

Quebec Court of Appeal Upholds Rwandan Genocide Conviction

The Quebec Court of Appeal has upheld a judgment convicting Désiré Munyaneza of genocide with respect to events in Rwanda in 1994. The prosecution is based upon the principle of universal jurisdiction. Munyaneza had been convicted in a trial held before a judge sitting without a jury and sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for twenty-five years. This is an automatic sentence triggered by a conviction for murder and the Court of Appeal did not therefore reconsider it.
Judgments in criminal appeals are final with the possibility of appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada only with the permission of that Court. If there is not grant of leave to appeal, this will be the first conviction based upon universal jurisdiction by Canadian courts since legislation was adopted to permit this in the late 1980s.
The judgment is available in the original French and in an English translation.
Thanks to Raymond Savadogo.

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