Supreme Court judges train in judgment writing

A three-day training in writing international judgments for Supreme Court judges opened yesterday in Kigali.
Chief Justice Sam Rugege (R), and former ICTR Judge Wolfgang Schomburg look through a book during the workshop yesterday. (John Mbanda)
Chief Justice Sam Rugege (R), and former ICTR Judge Wolfgang Schomburg look through a book during the workshop yesterday. (John Mbanda)

A three-day training in writing international judgments for Supreme Court judges opened yesterday in Kigali.

Opening the training, the Chief Justice, Prof. Sam Rugege, said the training will help participants to improve writing style of judgments while linking facts to laws.

“We have international cases from ICTR and we expect others. This can show us how and where to improve,” Prof. Rugege said.

“It is to help us improve the writing of judgments so that whoever reads the case does not find difficulty seeing the winner and the loser,” he added.

The Chief Justice said the training is meant for judges and prosecutors.

He also said it is necessary to post judgments online for future reference by researchers, lecturers, students and other interested people.

Judge Wolfrang Schomburg, a trainer, is an expert in writing international judgements, having worked  in the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia) and at the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda).

He is also teaching international criminal law in a university in England.

“We have the responsibility not only to show that justice is done but also reveal the truth that we believe in. Our task is to come as close as possible to the truth, and that has a lot to do with how you write the details and the summary of the judgment,” Wolfrang said.

Judge Wolfrang said judges can apply law applicable in Rwanda to cases being sent to Rwanda from abroad and that there must be mutual collaboration between the ICTR and Rwanda to ensure justice prevails.

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