The Cabinet has approved the establishment of a Law Reform Commission, an agency that will review and undertake reforms in the existing laws to foster good governance in the country.
This was revealed by the deputy Chief Justice, Sam Rugege, on Monday in an interview with The New Times.
Justice Rugege observed that there was an urgent need for a permanent Law Reform Commission to review the existing laws to determine which laws need to be updated.
He mentioned that some of the existing laws are colonial and hence the need for amendments to be done to meet the current needs of the Rwandan people.
“We must develop Rwandan laws that are relevant to our people’s needs and serve their interests. We do not want donors or foreigners to set the agenda for us,” he said.
Justice Rugege added that since Rwanda has been and is still undergoing reforms in different sectors due to poor governance of previous regimes, there is need for a full time agency to look at the amendment of the country’s laws.
“The Ministry of Justice is overworked and does not even have the time to look at the old laws. The Parliament is also overstretched and does not have enough man-power to address all issues,” he said.
The Law Reform Commission, Justice Rugege said will be charged with broader, more complex socio-legal issues which arise in contemporary society.
“Law reform is also necessary due to globalisation to streamline our relationship with other countries,” he further explained.
The Commission will also compare Rwanda’s laws with other countries, to ably establish suitable ones to serve the people’s interests.
Justice Rugege’s remarks come against the backdrop of developing a regional framework for good governance in the East African Community (EAC).
With the formation of the permanent Law Reform Commission, Rwanda will be joining the three original partner States in the community, which already have similar Commissions.
According to the EAC draft framework on good governance that is currently under review, partner States will be required to promulgate good laws that are in conformity with human rights, facilitate systems of administration and the State apparatus in a manner that guarantees social justice, peace, political stability and the prevention of conflicts.