ELM/LMC Header Image
Our prayer times for
Sat 23 Sep 2017
BeginsJama'ah
  As part of an ongoing conversation with London's faith communities, the ...
Why should I join the run? The East London Mosque needs your help to...
The Islam Awareness Project and East London Mosque will be hosting a free exhibition and open day for members ...
An excellent opportunity has arisen to work on the archives at London's most oldest Mosque. We are see...
In a first of its kind event, prominent scholars and leaders speak out against domestic abuse. The London Musl...
  Following a landmark meeting with the OneVoice movement at the London Muslim Centre (LMC) in ...
This year's Umrah Seminar (Talim) will take place in Bangla and English by Shaykh Abdul Qayum on the followi...
Tan Sri Dato' Azman Mokhtar, the highly successful managing director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (the Malaysia...
Individuals claiming to be self-styled ‘Muslim patrols’ have been harassing members of the pu...
On Friday 30th November 2012 the East London Mosque launched its Friday Giving campaign. All mosques bene...
ELM Womens Link and Rainbow House Children's Centre (RHCC) are working in Partnership to deliver activ...
  On Saturday 13 October 2012, leaders of hospices and Muslim communities came together for a land...
This year the International Day of Peace, which is marked each year on 21 September, falls on a Friday. Isla...
An exciting new mobile phone app has been launched for the East London Mosque! It is available for FREE to d...
On Tuesday 12th June at the London Muslim Centre (East London), a number of organisations large and small ...
We would like to thank all those who helped make the Run 4 Your Mosque fundraising campaign and event a huge ...
  The President of the International Court of Justice has appeared at an exclusive event at the Lo...
The Daily Telegraph has today published corrections in both its newspaper and online editions correcting all...
This year's first issue of the EMEL magazine charts the success of the East London Mosque. The East London M...
The East London Mosque is featured in an article by BBC London News. Detailing some of its one hundred year ...

 

During an exclusive visit to the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, the Chief Justice to Rwanda spoke of the massive reconstruction and reconciliation effort needed to rebuild his country's judicial system, following the 1994 genocide in which nearly one million died.

Addressing a select audience of law-makers, barristers, the media, dignitaries and human rights experts on 28 February, Professor Sam Rugege delivered a one-off, keynote speech which highlighted how Rwanda had dealt with tens of thousands of suspected war criminals, ‘trying' them via a traditional system of village courts.

With no courts or functioning legal system (or government) in the aftermath of the genocide, Justice Rugege and colleagues built a functioning legal system from the ground-up and in the process helped earn Rwanda an enviable reputation for low corruption.

Invited by the Qatar Law Forum and sponsored by Allen & Overy, Justice Rugege looked at both past and future challenges facing his country and its judiciary. He explained that in 2003, when a new constitution come into force, dozens of Law graduates had to be trained up as new judicial officers to take over the country's near-destroyed legal system

"In the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, there was a need to rebuild public institutions, including the judiciary," he said. "The physical infrastructure had been destroyed and the human resources greatly reduced as many judicial officers had either been killed or had fled the country.

"There was need to restructure and modernise the judiciary to make it functional, efficient and more easily accessible to all. This was not easy given the general devastation of the country and lack of resources. The process was therefore slow."

When judicial reforms started in earnest there was a backlog of over 54,000 cases, some going back as far as the 1980s, he said. Cases took years to be processed through the courts and the public had little confidence in the judicial system.

"Strategies were devised to speed up the hearing and adjudication of cases. We were fortunate to get funding to hire contractual judicial officers who specifically and exclusively handled backlog cases. Within a period of seven years the backlog was almost completely cleared leaving only problematic cases, for instance those with missing documents."

He added that one major consequence of the reforms had been greatly enhanced public confidence in the judiciary, both in terms of its ability to dispense justice fairly as well as in a reasonable timeframe. "The rule of law is part and parcel of good governance," he said, and "good governance is an important factor in creating the environment for respect for the rule of law among the citizens."

Professor Rugege was invited by the Qatar Law Forum, and the event was chaired by Robin Knowles QC CBE, Chairman of Pro-Bono in the LMC. Among notable guests was the Hon. Mr Justice Blair, who helped advise the Rwandan Judiciary on banking law.

The event ended with a question and answers session, followed by a private networking event.

[ends]

Speech by Justice Sam Rugege, Chief Justice of Rwanda