JUDICIARY - Kigali Bar Association on Friday, November 24 registered fourty new lawyers, making the number of the learned friends 306, the highest in the history of the Rwandan Law Society. The lawyers took oath before a panel of three High Court Judges presided over by the court’s President, Johnston Busingye in a colorful ceremony at the High Court chambers in Nyamirambo. Busingye tipped the new lawyers on ethics, cautioning lawyers who choose to fight their legal battles in the press instead of presenting the issues before courts of law.
“We have on several occasions seen lawyers bringing to us submissions different from what they tell the press….this is unethical and you should desist from such deeds,” he warned.
He also said that the growing number of legal practitioners in the country should be compatible with vast knowledge in region since Rwanda is embarking on regional integration.
Gatera Gashabana, the chairman of the Bar said it is the obligation of the association to ensure that lawyers are conversant with international law.
“We have joined the East African Community and our country is warming up to receive files from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, for this reason, we at whatever cost have to acquaint ourselves with international law,” Gashabana said.
He urged the new members of the learned fraternity to acclimatize themselves with the system that the bar has set up of having all lawyers in the country speaking at least the three languages spoken in the country which is Kinyarwanda, English and French.
He also urged them to get actively involved in offering pro bono services by offering legal assistance to the poor who cannot afford legal fees.
Meanwhile the swearing comes barely days after the association sacked 40 lawyers, the equivalent of those who took oath.
The sacked lawyers, whose names have been pinned on doors of all 72 courthouses in the country, were sacked for variety of reasons, some having fled the country for fears of being tried by Gacaca courts.