About 30 legal practitioners, recently, concluded a one-day training workshop in Criminal Defence skills, particularly on cross examination techniques.
The workshop was conducted by trainers from the Geneva-based, International Bridges to Justice (IBJ).
The organisation's aim is to defend the legal rights of average citizens in developing countries. It also aims to promote the right to proficient legal representation with a fair trial, along with the right for protection from cruel and unusual punishment.
Speaking to The New Times after the training, John Bosco Bugingo, the head of IBJ Rwanda office, said that the exercise is aimed at strengthening the lawyers’ capacity to effectively represent and defend the accused in criminal cases by exploring fundamental techniques in criminal defence practice.
“This one-day intensive training equipped our lawyers with skills and techniques of cross examining the witnesses and suspects in the courts of law,” he said.
Bugingo added that the field of criminal law defence skills among Rwandan lawyers is still wanting, hence the need for training.
He mentioned that, so far, over 180 lawyers have benefitted from the training since IBJ’s inception in Rwanda three years ago.
“Our target is to enable practicing Rwandan lawyers acquire skills and be able to defend (the accused) in the international court s or any other big Rwandan cases,” he noted.
Kellie Krake, the International Training Director at IBJ said that the training focused on strengthening the ability of defence lawyers to advocate for the rights of the accused.
“They were taught new practical ways of criminal defence skills, how to defend a client, review the evidence and analyse the case,” she added.
One of the trainees Damascene Nkuriyingoma expressed his gratitude to IBJ for the training .
“I have gained cross examination techniques to apply in criminal defense cases,” he said.