The judicial sector has been kept very busy in the last few months. It seems that there is always a pleasant (or otherwise) surprise around the corner.
Provisions from the Penal Code and other laws have successfully been challenged in the Supreme Court and parliament several times which gives an indication that at some point, framers of the laws could have been working from templates that do not fit current Rwanda.
An example is one that has just been thrown out by parliament that only allowed a widow to remarry 300 days after the death of her husband. The law was found to be very discriminatory as the same did not apply to men who had lost their wives.
The reasons put forward to explain the ten-month waiting period was to defend the paternity of the child in case the mother was pregnant at the time. It is surprising that that law has eluded gender rights activists all this time, but as the saying goes; better late than never.
The justice sector has just been disrupted to some extent especially with the reintroduction of the Ministry of Internal Security which now oversees the Police, Prisons and Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) which were hitherto been overseen by the justice docket.
Both the prosecution and the Supreme Court also have new people at the helm who will struggle to fill the shoes of their predecessors. The new incoming leaders have one consolation; the bigger storm has passed.
Perhaps of all the institutions that had to be rebuilt from scratch, the judiciary was the most demanding, but it passed the test of time and is now on the right course, the in-coming teams only need to keep their bearings and their sailing will be smooth.