President Paul Kagame on Friday said that if the public perceives the judiciary or another justice institution as corrupt, inefficient, ineffective, or influenceable then everyone is safer assuming that the perception is founded and that calls for efforts to find out why it exists and what needs to be done. The head of state was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of three new judges who were appointed three weeks ago. During the ceremony, President Kagame called on the justice system, including the newly elected judges, to aim at supporting growth of a culture of playing by the rules. “Rwandan society and economy have grown in size, dynamism and expectations. The justice system needs to keep watching this evolution and to continually play its rightful role in support of this growth,” he said. Adding that, “Members of the judiciary should be the first to play by the rules for Rwandans to feel comfortable that they have a justice system in which they can place their trust and continue with their daily lives.” Commenting about the recent global rankings, the head of state said that Rwanda being placed at the 37th spot in the Rule of Law index is something to be proud of, but, he added that there were other 36 countries infront. “This only means more work to sustain and up our gains,” he reiterated. The President also highlighted that several initiatives around promotion of mediation should be expedited. For instance, Kagame gave an example of committees of community mediators locally known as Abunzi, citing that they present a real alternative to litigation that practically places disputants at the center of the resolution of their own dispute, and does so faster. Abunzi represents a hybrid of the conventional justice system and Rwanda’s traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. There is a mediation committee at every cell to handle cases on the first instance and a similar one at the sector level, which handles appeals. They are elected by the people at the village level to resolve disputes that were previously referred to as courts of law.