KIGALI - The Supreme Court of Rwanda and the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at strengthening the two countries’ mutual cooperation.
The signing ceremony held in Tanzania’s commercial capital; Dar es Salaam, was presided over by Chief Justice Aloysie Cyanzayire and her Tanzanian counterpart, Augustino Ramadhani.
The signing follows a meeting that brought together Chief Justices of all the five East African Community member states, held in Rwanda in March last year, where they agreed to have judicial collaboration.
Shortly after her arrival at Kigali International Airport, Thursday evening, Cyanzayire told The New Times that the MoU will help both parties to cooperate and share information on capacity building - training of judges and judicial personnel and exchanging of information and expertise in ICT development as a move to improve the quality of the administration of justice.
She noted that Rwanda is now in the process of starting using Video Conferencing during court sessions.
“We will share information on matters concerning the respect of rule of law, case law, court procedures, as well as the ethics of judges and other personnel of the courts,” Cyanzayire noted.
She observed that Tanzania has experience in commercial courts and that Rwanda shall borrow a leaf on how to effectively strengthen the activities of these courts which started in 2008.
“We will be sharing information and technical assistance on speeding trials to avoid case backlog in courts and improve the quality of judicial administration and publish and share court decisions,” she said.
Cyanzayire added that Supreme Court judges will be sent to Tanzania to be trained how to preside over and present their ruling in English, contrary to French, the only language known and used by almost all Supreme Court judges.
“We don’t know how to write cases in English…but it can be essential to write these cases in English and we hope to send some of our judges to gain this knowledge and experience in Tanzanian courts.”
Cyanzayire, who noted that this is just a formal cooperation, added that the same MoUs will soon be signed with other EAC member states before signing with other African countries like Zambia.