Gov’t to set up justice bureaus

The government is finalising plans that will see citizens have access to the Justice Bureau system, The New Times can report

The government is finalising plans that will see citizens have access to the Justice Bureau system, The New Times can report

The Minister for Justice; Tharcisse Karugarama exclusively told The New Times yesterday that the offices will provide free legal advice to vulnerable people.

“The offices will orient vulnerable people on whether to take their case to court, the type of court to go to where necessary, or whether to go to mediators or whether there is no case at all,” he said.

According to Karugarama, the bureaus will be opened in all the 30 districts of the country by the end of the year.
So far, 14 offices have been opened.

The bureaus will also provide continuous training for mediators all over the country.

“It has been very expensive to train mediators, but now these offices will provide short training programmes for mediators at the local level and mostly in their areas,” he said .

The Access to Justice Bureaus will also be used to disseminate laws to the local community.

“We are also looking at the justice bureau employees as the people who will help us to disseminate new legislations and provide legal information as they appear in the national gazette to the local populations so that our citizens are informed about the laws affecting them,” Karugarama said

Karugarama also explained that the bureaus would act as a link between the Ministry of Justice, decentralized local government and mediators to ease the work of the latter. 

He said that the idea to set up the bureaus was to give residents a chance to participate in their own justice system.

“We want to help people to think of justice beyond courts of law and lawyers. We want Rwandans to fully participate in their justice system,” he said

Karugarama, who weeks ago was in the Senate to convince Senators to pass the law on mediators, said that the project has garnered a lot of support from donors who are keen on the work that the bureaus will carry out.

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