Chief Justice, Aloysia Cyanzaire, has reminded judges that it is their obligation to uphold and promote national human rights as a service to the citizens.
Cyanzaire made the call yesterday during a two-day workshop held in Kigali, which attracted over 60 judges to discuss the application of international human rights laws and principles in Rwanda.
The meeting is part of series of meetings organized by the UN Country Office ahead of the presentation of Rwanda’s periodic review report on International Human Rights treaties slated for August this year.
“Most of the international human rights laws are already provided for in our national law on human right and in the constitution,” Cyanzaire said.
“I hope the outcome of this workshop will help to harmonize both laws so that they don’t overlap, but serve the same purpose”.
She told the judges that they play an important role in society whereby they have the power to define the laws and make important decisions with an aim of dispensing equitable justice to the citizens.
“Judges and lawyers are fundamental in the safe guarding of human rights of the citizenry, and the duty falls on them to ensure that equitable justice is administered,” Cyanzaire said.
Aurélien Agbénonci, the UN Resident Coordinator, told the judges that Rwanda’s subscription to all core international and regional treaties is a clear indication that there is political will to fulfill international obligations.
“Rwanda has over and again, as a member state of UN, proved commitment to promote universal respect for fundamental human rights,” said Agbénonci.
He added that the UN is mandated to assist Rwanda in the promotion of human rights and equal rights of the population, citing an example of the support that is being rendered by the UN to the Institute of Legal Practice and Development, based in the Southern Province.