Care Over Punishment: Conference 2021

April 21-22. 2021   2:00 PM - 6:00pm EST



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Dr. Denis Bikesha

Dr. Denis Bikesha holds a Ph.D. Degree from University of Dar es Salaam, School of Law. He received both his first Degree (LL.B) and Master's Degree (LL.M) from the National University of Rwanda (NUR) in 2004 and 2010 respectively. He is also an alumnus of the School for International Training Graduate Institute based at Vermont, USA where he obtained a post-graduate diploma in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. Denis has worked for the Government of Rwanda in different capacities including being a legal office, a Director, and a consultant. He worked as a legal officer for the National Service of Gacaca Courts in Rwanda, an organ that coordinated and supervised all the activities related to trying the cases related to the Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi in Rwanda. In 2007, he became the Director of Training, mobilization and Documentation at the National Service of Gacaca Courts, a post he held until the closure of Gacaca Courts activities in June 2012.

Denis has worked for the American Bar Association, Rule of Law Initiative as Country Coordinator for Rwanda. Presently, Denis holds the position of Dean of the School of Law, University or Rwanda. In addition to his leadership and teaching roles at University of Rwanda, Dr. Bikesha is a senior advisor of violence prevention leadership programs for a USA-based organization known as Lead 4 Tomorrow. He is one of the co-founders Premier Law Chambers where he currently concentrates on trainings, research and consultancy. Denis is also a member of the High Council of the Judiciary as well as the High Council of the National Public Prosecution Authority of Rwanda. Denis’ main interests in teaching and research are Transitional Justice Systems and Constitutional Law; which courses he teaches in Post-graduate and under-graduate programs respectively.

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Kay Pranis

Kay Pranis teaches and writes about the dialog process known as 'Peacemaking Circles.' Her initial teachers in the circle work were Barry Stuart, a judge in Yukon, Canada, and Mark Wedge and Harold Gatensby, First Nations people of Yukon.  From 1994 – 2003 Kay held the position of Restorative Justice Planner at the MN Dept of Corrections. Since that initial exposure to the use of Peacemaking Circles in the justice system, Kay has been involved in developing the use of Peacemaking Circles in schools, social services, churches, families, neighborhoods, museums, universities, municipal planning and workplaces.


Kay has authored or co-authored several books about Circles:  Peacemaking Circles - From Conflict to Community;  The Little Book of Circle Processes – A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking;  Doing Democracy with Circles – Engaging Communities in Public Planning;  Heart of Hope – A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing & Build Healthy Relationships and Circle Forward – Building a Restorative School Community.