Just over a decade after the 1994 genocide, over 1,000 accused languish in Rwandan prisons. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the nation's domestic courts have struggled to bring them to trial. In response, the Rwandan government has embarked on an experiment in mass justice: the gacaca courts. The new courts are inspired by traditional dispute resolution mechanisms. The judges are elected by popular vote in their cells to hear cases such as murder, assault and property offences. The system permits appeals (except for property crimes), though not to the domestic courts. The setting is less formal than criminal courts and promotes confessions from perpetrators and forgiveness from survivors. Coupled with this process are two related schemes for victim compensation and community service for those convicted. This article examines these courts from the perspectives of retributive and restorative justice, within the Rwandan context. In practice, the gacaca courts embody both principles, as well as their tension. The judges are lay persons, yet are engaged in complex legal adjudication. The accused have no right to legal representation, nor an appeal to the domestic courts. More importantly, survivors are marginalized by the process as the practical and political pressures on the Rwandan government have made them opt for expediency (more and faster trials) over reconciliation (survivor compensation and manifest regret by the perpetrators). The gacaca courts hold out much promise of reconciling a deeply divided society, but redressing the needs of victims must become a priority.