Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies


Emilie Taman


In the aftermath of de-stabilizing conflicts, the transition to sustainable democracy is a challenging one. Open and transparent decision-making processes which encourage lay participation are important to this transition. With few remaining functional institutions, Governments must undergo reform at every level in order to effectively promote and enforce the Rule of Law. Criminal Justice reform, in particular, is essential. This paper will examine lay participation in criminal justice and the role it can play in building legitimate criminal justice institutions. The Canadian common law July will be examined as one model and the French, civilian-style ‘lay assessor’ model as another. These two models will then form the basis of an analysis of post-Apartheid South Africa and post-genocide Rwanda. It will be argued that while the jury system is effective in common law countries with legal infrastructures which support it, it may not be the most appropriate form of lay participation for deeply fractionalized societies. Indeed, in both the South African and Rwandan example it will be shown that lay assessors are best suited to the promotion of legitimate criminal justice institutions in these States.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.