Justice Minister and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye, has called on lawyers to be more transparent and avoid bribery on behalf of their clients or otherwise.
Busingye was addressing the lawyers at the Rwanda Bar Association’s (RBA) annual General Assembly held in Kigali yesterday.
“Stay away from anything that can dent a lawyer’s reputation as well as the image of the fraternity in general” he started
The Minister also thanked the lawyers for their contribution in delivering justice to Rwandans.
Advocates are more than just lawyers, he said, but also analysts and researchers in legal matters who seek evidence to help courts deliver justice.
The President of RBA, Julien- Gustave Kavaruganda revealed that during the course of the year, some lawyers were faulted for bribery, negligence of cases and indiscipline such as drunkenness and unprofessional dress code.
“A few lawyers at RBA were imprisoned, expelled and others punished in several ways due to bribery and indiscipline” said Kavaruganda.
Kavaruganda said three lawyers were imprisoned while four others were expelled.
Three-month suspension was given to 27 lawyers, seven suspended for one month while fourteen were given written warnings, he added.
RBA has 1,200 lawyers. Over 80 are set to join early next year.
“Our ultimate goal is to have law fir on every administrative sector such that our services can be more accessible,” Kavaruganda said
Lawyers cited several reforms in Rwanda’s judicial system, which they said have empowered them to work more independently.
Among the reforms, they said, is replacement of the Arusha Peace Accord (APA) in 1993, which gave the President overall control over the judiciary with the Supreme Court.
The current law that governs judiciary spells full independence of the pillars in judiciary in executing justice for the people.