Comparative law and justice/Rwanda (draft)

From Wikiversity
Jump to: navigation, search

Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project

Scale of justice 2 new.jpeg Subject classification: this is a comparative law and justice resource .

Mlindenberg 3589 23:21, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Basic Information[edit]

Flag-map of Rwanda.svg

Geographical Characteristics[edit]

Rwanda is located in Central Africa bordered by the four countries, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda. It's total area is 26,338 sq. km., which is a little bit smaller than the state of Maryland with 24,668 sq. km. being land while 1,670 sq. km. being water. This puts Rwanda's coordinates at 2.00 South and 30.00 East. With no coastline present, their climate is considered temperate with two annual rainy seasons for most of the country. But in the mountainous parts the climate is mild with frost and snow. The terrain is mainly grassy uplands and hills with some high altitude mountains. It's levels of elevation range from 950 meters at its lowest point, it being the Rusizi River and its highest point being the Volcan Karisimbi at 4,519 meters. The Main Mountains are:

  • Mt. Gahinga
  • Mt. Huye
  • Mt. Karsimbi
  • Mt. Sabyinyo
  • Mt. Muhabara

Mount Kigali.jpg The Main Rivers are:

  • River Kagera
  • River Razizi

The three biggest cities found in Rwanda are Kigali with 745,261 people, Butare with 89,600 people, and Gitarama with 87,613 people.Some of Rwanda's natural resources are gold, cassiterite, wolframite, methane, hydropower, and arable land. As well as having natural resources they also have natural hazards such as periodic droughts and volcanism.Some common environmental issues are deforestation, overgrazing, soil exhaustion, soil erosion,and widespread poaching.[1]

Demographic Characteristics[edit]

Rwanda's population consists of 11,055,976 people with three defined age groups, 0-14 years, 15-64 years, and 65 and older. [2]

  • 0-14 years 42.7%
  • 15-64 years 54.8%
  • 65- older 2.5%

The median age is 18.6 years with females being 18.9 years and males being 18.4 years.

  • Population growth rate is 2.818%
  • Birth rate is 37.26/1,000
  • Death rate is 10.19/1,000

Religious Characteristics[edit]

The most popular religion present within Rwanda is Roman Catholic. There are also 5 others present within the country. For the most part all Rwandans believe in spirits after death, which is why they show respect for dead ancestors. The Catholic Church is one of the most dominant institutes in Rwanda. Besides Catholic the following are other religions present: [3]

  • Roman Catholic- 56.5%
  • Protestant- 26%
  • Adventist- 11.1%
  • Muslim- 4.6%
  • Indigenous Beliefs- 0.1%
  • None- 1.7%

Ethnic Characteristics[edit]

There are three main Ethnic groups, the Hutu's (Bantu), the Tutsi's (Hamitic), and the Twa's (Pygmy)with the Hutu's being the most populated.

  • Hutu- 84%
  • Tutsi- 15%
  • Twa- 1%

To see how each ethnic group ended up in Rwanda, please see the Brief History Section. [4]

Linguistic Characteristics:[edit]

There are a total of five known languages with three being indigenous and two being immigrant.

  • Kinyarwanda- this is and official language
  • French- this is an official language
  • English- this is an official language
  • Universal Bantu Vernacular
  • Kiswahili (Swahjli)


Economic Characteristics[edit]

  • GDP (purchasing power)- 11.86 billion
  • GDP (official exchange rate)- 5.693 billion
  • GDP (real growth rate)- 6%
  • GDP (per capital)- $1,100
  • GDP (by sectors)- agriculture is 42.1%, industry is 14.3%, services is 43.6%

The Labor Force consists of 4.446 million people while 90% is Agriculturally based the other 10% is Industry/Services. Some Agricultural Products are coffee, tea, pyrethrum, bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes, and livestock. Some Industries found in Rwanda are cement, agricultural products, small scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, and cigarettes. Exports such as Kenya, Thailand, China, USA, Swaziland, Belgium, and Democratic Republic of Congo bring in 226 million dollars in exchange for coffee, tea, hides, and tin ore. Imports cost us 1.047 billion dollars, brought from Kenya, Uganda, China, UAE, Belgium, Germany, Tanzania, and Sweden, including products such as foodstuff, machinery, equipment, steel, petroleum products, and cement/construction material. [6]


Rwanda's forms of communication are telephone, internet, and radio. There is a broadcast media which the government owns as well as the one TV station and nine private radio stations. [7] When it comes to transportation there are:

  • Airports- 9
  • Roadways- 14,008 km.
  • Waterways- only Lac Kivu River is navigable by barge/craft
  • Ports/Terminals- Cyangugu, Gi senyi, Kibuye


Brief History[edit]

At one point Rwanda did not have independance from Belgium but in 1959 the majority group, the Hutu's overthrew the Tutsi King. This led to thousands of deaths of the Tutsi's and another 150,000 of them exiled to other countries. Later on the Rwandan Patriotic front (RPF) rebelled in what started the Civil War in 1990. This started in 1994 a genocide of 800,000 Tutsi's and Hutu's. The Tutsi's rebelled and the war ended in July of 1994. Two million Hutu's fled to Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Rwanda's first local elections were held in 1999 and the first presidential/legislative elections were held in 2003. In 2009 Rwanda started a joint military operation with the Congolese Army to get rid of the Hutu's. Another improving factor was that Rwanda joined the commonwealth in late 2009. [8]

Health & Education Information[edit]

The total population of citizens that can read or write is 70.4%, while 76.3% of males and 64.7% of females can read and write. The expectancy of education stops at 11 years for males and 9 years for females. Expenditures spent on education total to 4.1% of GDP.Rwandan government provides free schooling for six years in primary school and three years in secondary school. [9]

Children in Virunga National Park.jpg

When it comes to health, health care provided is low and 1 out of every 5 children younger than five dies. With a shortage of medical staff and not enough supply of medicines. There is a new government program called Vision 2020 which will improve the healthcare budget. The following statistics represent a low healthcare field:

  • Infant Mortality rate is 65/1,000 births
  • Fertility rate is 4.99 children/woman

The life expectancy for males are 56.06 years and for females is 58.91 years.Some major infectious diseases which impact Rwanda are found within three categories:

  • Food/waterborne- bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever
  • Vectorborne- malaria
  • Animal Contact- rabies

Legal System[edit]

Rwanda's government is considered a presidential republic based on a multi-party system. The present Constitution was adopted in 2003, which replaced an old set of documents, called the Fundamental Laws. The legal system is based on German and Belgium civil law systems and customary law. Rwanda has very low corruption levels and ranks the 66th cleanest country out of 178 countries in the world. Due to the current government Rwanda has benefited through economic growth and improvements in international investment and tourism. They are also a member of the United Nations, the African Union, La Franco phonie, and East African Community, and Commonwealth of Nations.

The Constitution Outline:

  • Preamble
  • Article 1-11 The Republic
  • Article 12-33 Public Liberties
  • Article 34-38 Powers
  • Article 39-49 President of Republic
  • Article 50-57 Government
  • Article 58-68 National Assembly
  • Article 69-79 Elaboration of Laws
  • Article 80-85 National Assembly & Government
  • Article 86-95 Judicial Power
  • Article 96 Revision of Constitution
  • Article 97 General & Transitional Provisions

President Kagame's part in the Rwandan Patriotic Front was the most dominant political party in the country since 1994. It helped to maintain control of the Presidency and Parliament in natural elections. It is also known for being a tutsi dominated party.

Structure of Government/Heiarchy:

  • Cheif of State-President
  • Legislature- Chamber of Deputies/Senate
  • Executive
  • Judiciary
  • Supreme Courts
  • High Courts
  • Provincial Courts
  • District Courts
  • Specialized Courts
  • Military Courts

President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame also considered the head of state has unilateral powers in order to:

  • to create policy
  • administer government agencies
  • command armed force
  • negotiate & ratify treaties
  • sign presidential orders
  • declare war

The president is usually elected by popular vote and serves a 7 year term. The following was a list of the candidates in the 2011 Presidential Race:

  • Paul Kagame
  • Prosper Kigiro
  • Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo
  • Alvera Mukabaramba


The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was established in 1994 by the United Nations Security Counsel Resolution 955. It was responsible for the following:

  • the power to prosecute people responsible for serious violations in rwanda's territory
  • also can prosecute Rwandan citizens who committ serious crimes in neighboring countries
  • power to prosecute people who committ genocide, crimes against humanity, (murder, torture, rape, hostages, terrorism)

The ICTR contains 3 trials chambers and 1 appeals chamber. In trial chambers there are 3 permanent judges and 4 ad litem judges. When it comes to appeals chambers there are 7 permanent judges. The working languages found within the court system are English and French.

Parliament(Legislature) is bicameral and responsible for making legislation and has limited powers over the executive branch. It consists of two chambers, The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

  1. 1. The Chamber of Deputies- consists of 80 members (serves a 5 year term)
  • 24 seats are reserved for women (only country with a female majority parliament-45)
  • 3 seats are reserved for the youth or disabled
  • 53 seats are for universal suffrage
  1. 2. The Senate- consists of 26 members (30% include women), servesan 8 year term

Executive Branch consists of the prime ministers, ministers, ministers of state and the President.

Judiciary system is responsible for establishing new courts, procedures, structures, standards in academic/professional qualifications, regulatory/administrative frameworks. Its heiarchy goes as follows; supreme court,high courts, provincial courts, district courts, and mediation committees.

There are two types of courts; ordinary and specialised

  1. 1. Ordinary Courts- Supreme Court, High Courts, Regional Courts
  2. 2. Specialised Courts- military Courts, Gacca Courts

Courts of 1st Instance-

  1. 1. Provincial Courts
  2. 2. Courts of Appeal
  3. 3. Courts of Cassation

Courts of Constitution-

  1. 1. Court of Cassation
  2. 2. Council of State
  3. 3. Court of Accounts
  4. 4. Court of State Senority

Supreme Court is the highest court in the countryand its decisions are for judicial review (decisions are binding on parties of the state, public officials, civilians, military, judicial officers, and private individuals).

High Court has jurisdiction in 1st offense serious crimes in Rwanda as well as 1st offense serious crimes held outside the juridisdiction of Rwanda.

Provincial Court is established in each province of county and the city of Kigali.

District Courts are in each district of each county.

Specialized Courts are specified to Gacca Courts which deal with Genocide crimes.

Military Courts consists of the Military Tribunal and Military High Court. Offenses committed by military personnel are dealth within the Military Tribunal. Offenses with threats to national security or involving the murder of soldiers are dealth with in Military High Court.

Sources of Legislation: Official Gazette of Republic of Rwanda

  • legal texts
  • presidential orders
  • prime ministers orders
  • ministerial orders
  • official rules/regulations

Basic Documents:

  • Security Council Resolutions
  • Statute of the Tribunal
  • Rules of Procedure & Evidence
  • Practice Directions
  • Directives
  • Code of Professional Conduct for Defense Counsel
  • Rules covering Detention of Persons Awaiting Trail/Appeal
  • Prosecutors Regulation
  • Bilateral Agreements

Elections/Voting Education[edit]

The National Electora Management Body conucts information on campaigns for nationa elections. The voting age within Rwanda is 18 years old as well as citizenship is also another requirement. Voting polls are at specified designated polling stations. Voting is possible for all people abroad, all diplomatic staff, students, armed forces, and tourists. The one difference between voting in Rwanda and the US is that in Rwanda you must manually mark ballots in stead of electronic polling stations. The polling stations are the ones responsible for sorting and counting the ballots. One negatie aspect though is the fact there are not televised databases of candidates or party representatives.

In order to become part of a political party or a candidate their are registation requirements such as a signature requirement. There is aso an age requirement as well. Independent candidates can also compete in both presidential and legislative elections.

Electoral System/Management[edit]

  • President is elected by popular vote and serves a 7 year term
  • National Assembly consists of 53 members by a direct vote
  • Chamber of Deputies members elected by direct universal suffrage (serve 5 year term)
  • Senate Members are elected through indirect elections (serve 8 year term)
  • Head of Government (President) can nominate, appoint or remove a prime ministers status


  • EMB issues the electoral law which governs national elections
  • electoral law covers national elections
  • Voting type consists of compulsory and regulated in electoral law
  • Judiciary/Supreme Court is responsble for 1st level electoral disputes


  • National Electoral Body is responsible for all elections at national, regional, local levels
  • National Eletoral Management body serves a 3 year term
  • Electoral Management Model is considered independent
  • There are 7 members part of the EMB
  • Membership is based on partisanship
  • Selected by political parties/civil society

Judicial Review[edit]

When it comes to Judicial Review, the Supreme Court disposes of the constitutional issue and labels it as an interlocutory matter before trying the main point of the case. When constitutional issues do come about within sobordinate courts, the proceedings stay within the court while the constitutional issues are discussed by the Supreme Court for a ruling. Untill the Supreme Court has discussed to the lower subordinate court with the decisions, both the court procedures and the allotted time of them are determine by the Supreme Court.

If the case being tried in the subordinate courts seems to be inadmissable on the ground not related to the unconstitutional issue or if the judge of the subordinate court thinks he decision of the Supreme Court will not affect the outcome of the main case, than it is not necessary to bring the unconstitutional issue to the Supreme Court at all. The decision to not stay proceedings may only be appealed against with an appeal against judgment in regards to the main case.


When it comes to crimes in Rwanda, pick pocketing is the most common usually in crowded places. As well as petty theft from cars and hotel rooms, is a very common crime. The most violent crimes found are carjacking, robbery, rape, and home invasion. The crimes which have increased the most over the years are assault/robbery of pedestrians, and residential burglary. [10]

Basic Crime Stats:

  • Executions: 24/year
  • Prisoners: 112,000/population
  • Female Prisoners: 2.6% of population
  • Foreign Prisoners: 0.3% of population
  • Prisoners/Capita: 109/ per 100,000 people

The following list are some statistics of Household and Individual Crimes with their percentages and frequencies found within Rwanda.


Household Crimes:

  • Car Theft/0/0.0%
  • Car hijacking/0/0.0%
  • Theft from cars/1/2.2%
  • Car Vandalism/1/2.2%
  • Motorcycle Theft/0/0.0%
  • Bike Theft/22/4.7%
  • Livestock Theft/53/5.3%
  • Burglary/121/5.8%
  • Attempted Burglary/52/2.5%
  • Destruction of Goods/43/2.0%
  • Witnessing Homicide/9/0.4%

Individual Crimes:

  • Robbery/5/0.2%
  • Personal Property Theft/108/5.1%
  • Sexual Offences/11/0.8%
  • Assault or Threat/9/0.4%

When it comes to household crimes the highest crimes are burglary, livestock theft, and bike theft. Out of the individual crimes the highest rate comes from personal property theft.

According to a 1994 survey all women/girls that survived the Rwandan Genocide was raped, leaving both psychologically and emotionally damaging aspects. It has caused 2,000-5,000 pregnancies. (Women risk their lives to speak of their offenders.)

In 1948 the Genocide Convention caused genocide to become a crime under the international law. This definition includes; a cime committed with the intent to destroy whole or part of a national, ethical, radical, or religious group; that also includes killing members of the group. (The genocide of the Tutsi's was estimated at half a million in 1994 total.)


People who violate Rwandan laws can be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penaties for posession, use of, trafficking in illegal drugs are severe. Long jail sentences and heavy fines are expected.

Stats for the sentencing of recidivist offenders are the following:

  • 44.2% say the sentencing should be imprisonment
  • 24.7% say the sentencing should be a fine
  • 23% say the sentencing should be for the general interest

The following stats are the opinions of the term in which imprisonment should last for:

  • 17.8% 2-6 months
  • 16% 1 year
  • 13.8% 5 years
  • 11.4% 2 years
  • 5.8% life in prison

The National Police Prosecution Authority (NPPA) acts between executive and judiciary branches as a role in helping the criminal procedure and ensuring the protection of victims and witnesses in Rwanda. [11]

Law Enforcement[edit]

A new style of policing founded was community policing which is a worldwide concept which developed in the 1980's. It takes a multi agency approach where the police, th public, the elecd officials, the government, and other agencies work together to deal with crime and community safety. [12]

Rwanda National Police conform to the National Constitution and the Police Act with a basis on community policing and th 7C Principles:

  1. 1. Communicating with the
  2. 2. Community to
  3. 3. Create
  4. 4. Cooperation
  5. 5. Collaboration
  6. 6. Coordination and
  7. 7. Change

Community Policing helps to reduce neighborhood crime, reduce the fear of crime, and enhances the quality of life in the community. These three concepts are accomplished by the establishment f Community Policing Committees and the Community Policing Strategy.

How CPA's Operate:

  • They are managed by community representatives while consultation happens with the community and a designated police officer is in charge of the whole committee. When it comes to the Village Committee their committee meets once every two weeks while the Cell Committee meets monthly. Committees must submit reports to the higher level no later than 24 hours after they have met. Each committee submits a monthly, quarterly, and annually report to the higher level. The chairman provides the information to the pocing unit nearest to them. At the District level there is a District Police Commander responsible for coordinating the community policing committees in that district. At the Provincial/Kigalia City level, a Regional Police Commander represents all committees in that province or Kigali City. Each Regional Police Commander collects information from all committees under there area and than submits it to the Commissioner General of Politics.

The structure of CPA's:

  1. 1. At the Village Level- ths committee contains
  • Village leader or chairman
  • In Charge Security (Secretary)
  • Village Advisory Committee (3 other individuals)
  1. 2. At the Cell Level- this committee contains
  • Cell Executive Secretary (Chairman)
  • Head of CPC's for whole village
  • Person responsible for youth
  • Person responsible for gender issues
  • People responsible for security in villages
  • Leader of local defense unit

The Role of Rwanda National Police is:

  • to advise the committees
  • to train members of CPC's
  • to find rapid solutions to poblems of committees

When it comes to victims experience with the police 1/3 or 30% of victims reported crimes to the police. The three top reasons for reporting was to recover personal property, wanting the offender to be caught/punished, and to stop the crime from occurring again. Some reasons for victims to be dissatisfied with the police were that the police didnt do enough. This accounted for 75% of citizens mostly regarding corruption and sexual crimes. While some victims also stated that police did not seem interested in crimes what so ever. Last of all usually found within crimes like car theft and sexual offences the offenders could not be found.

Victims tend to not report to the police due to the law enforcements inability to do anything or their lack of evidence. The crimes with the lowest reporting stats are sexual offences, assault cases, and corruption cases.

  • Sexual Offences were not reported due to fear of reprisal- 23%
  • Assault Cases were usually reported to public/private agencies instead of law enforcement- 27%
  • Corruption Cases were not reported due to it being unnecessary or inappropriate- 26%

When it comes to police work their are three categories which they participate in; crime prevention, assisting citizens, and private security in crime prevention. The following stats are the efficiency of their law enforcement:

  • Crime Prevention- 54.6% very efficient
  • Assisting Citizens- 55.8% very efficient
  • Private security in Crime Prevention- 24.3% efficient

Security/Safety Precautions:

  • Contact local police or the nearest US Embassy
  • Investigation/Prosecution of a crime is taken over by local authorities
  • Consular offices help to explain local criminal justice processes and help to fund you and attorney (Local police is 311 not 911)

Ugandan civil police board BDF Air Wing C-130 in Kigali 2006-09-26.jpg

Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit]

Criminaliy in neighborhoods of Rwanda's citizens state that they feel safe for the most the part in their area.

  • 94.8% are not afraid to walk alone at night
  • 93.8% are not afraid to stay home alone at night
  • 97.5% are sure no one would disrupt them at home

Grassroot authorities and national police have organized patrols to protect both urban and rural areas (92%say their household is protected by both or one of these organizations.

Survey Information on Crimes[edit]

National Police and Administration of criminal justice provide crime related information which usually is not sufficient enough. (The Household National Crime Victim Survey was the first survey in Rwanda.) [13]

The Household National Crime Victim Survey consists of the following pieces:

  1. 1.It covers the entire territory of Rwanda including rural and urban areas
  2. 2.It divides the population into 3 groups; Kigali City, Urban Centers, Rural Areas
  3. 3.It is accomplished at 2 levels; Cluster/Village, Household
  4. 4.Survey contained 2,100 households on the National Level
  • Kigali City- 8%
  • Cities- 17%
  • Rural Areas- 75%

Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Respondants-

  • Male- 67%
  • Female- 33
  • Under 34- 48%
  • Ages 35 to 64- 38%
  • Older than 65- 14%


Family Law[edit]

The Rwandan Family Code was adopted in 1988 and was put into effect in order to end the concept of legal dualism from Belgian control. This code is broken down into two parts:

  1. 1. Legislation- governs law of persons and family
  2. 2. Custom- applies to matrimonial property and succession

When it comes to citizenship in Rwanda laws are based on the Code of Rwandese Nationality which came about in September 28, 1963. Being born in Rwandan territory doesnt make automatic citizenship. The only exception is if they are born within the territory and the parents are unknown. Citizenship by descent is a different situation. If the father of the child is a Rwandan citizen the child is automatically a citizen regardless of it's birth country. Also if a child's mother a is a citizen of Rwanda and the father is unknown they are considered a citizen. By naturalization citizenship is attained by residency in Rwanda for atleast ten years with no hostility towards democratic or republican ideals. When a non citizen marrys a Rwandan citizen they are also eligible for citizenship by naturalization. [14]

The idea of Dual citizenship is not recognized in the Rwandan culture. The only exception is if a rwandese child is born abroad but obtains citizenship of their birth country. When the child reaches the age of eighteen they must choose between the two countries.

Citizenship can be lost either voluntary or involuntary. Voluntarily renunciation of citizenship is permitted under rwandese law causing passports to be turned into a Rwandan Embassy. Involuntarily loss of citizenship happens when voluntary acquisition of foreign citizenship occurs.

Family Law in Traditional Law:

This regards family as a subject of law and defines family by a group of blood related people who share a common ancestor. The three main ideas are that family is patrilineal, it does not include wives of male members, and does not include descendants of female members. The civil code introduces and establishes a nuclear family of a man, woman, and children; This is the only form of family which is protected by law. The organization of a family unit can be found within two types: [15]

  1. 1. Vertical units- Generations are subject to those who remain above them; the idea of senority enables older generations to be responsible for younger generations
  2. 2. Horizontal units- Those who are equals such as binding members of the same generation; the oldest male takes responsbility as the elder, is closest to the ancestors, and hold paternal authority

There are five functions which help in describing Family Law, Function of Education, Judicial Function, Administrative Function, Economic Function, and Religious Function. Function of Education tells us that the child belongs to the family and that its genetic parents and paternal uncles hold responsibility for the children. When it comes to Judicial Function the head of the family acts as a judge and advocate. He is the one responsible for settling disputes with the assistant of an internal council of elders with no distinction between penal and civil matters. Administrative Function ensures the head of the family will equally share all assets and will determine the disposal of assets and integration of outsiders. They also will arrange all marriages. Economic Function states that each household has to produce enough for his own needs and can contribute to the group as a whole. Each household is provided with farming land, land for proper dwelling, and a common section of land. Lastly Religious Function deals with a cult of ancestral spirits arranged to ward off misfortune by the family elder. Patriarch is the only one capable of passing on desires of other members.

The 3 most important aspects of Family Law are the recognition of the individual as a subject of law, marriage as a conjugal union, and equality between parents and children.

  1. 1. Recognition of the individual as a subject of law- The Rwandan Constitution shows the human being a possessor of rights and duties. None may infringe an individuals freedom except in cases of law. Each citizen has equal protection of law except for minors or people not legally capable who have restrictions. Law also protects their identity when it comes to nationality, name, and domicile/residence.
  1. 2. Mariage as a Conjugal Union- Both the man and women pick to live in a partnership and assume their own reciprocal duties. Monagamous civil marriage is the only form legally recognized. The Civil code states that 21 years of age for both spouses, the consent of both spouses, a difference in sex, and an agreed upon waiting time for widowhood are all terms for marriage. There is a Penal code which provdes sanctions for and against bigamy. Under new civil codes women now have the option to open new bank accounts, appear in court, witness legal acts, and use their own name in administrative acts. Civil Code also states that grounds for divorce are fault on a spouse, mutual consent, 3 years of seperation or dessertion of 12 monthes.
  1. 3. Equality between Parents & Children- When it comes to equality between a mother and father, filiation is considered patrilineal where children belong to father's family. The maternal family takes no responsibility for children recognized by their father. The new civil code establishes equality between both the rights, duties, and equalities between both parents and children. The child owes respect and authority to both the mother and the father. When it comes to equality between children the code distinguishes between legitimate and natural children as having the same rights and duties to both parents. Legitimate children are children born and concieed in wedlock (allowed to exist outside civil marriage. This includes children of monagamous and polygamous customary unions. Natural children are recognized and legitimated under customary law such as children born in religious marriages. The code tends to distinguish between materal and paternal filiation and can arise by voluntary acts or a court date. It tends to take place in front of a registration officer.

Gaps in the Civil Code of Family Law:

  1. 1. The civil code tends to be incomplete- Legislation only covers law of family relations and not property, succession or matrimonial regimes.
  2. 2. Precarious state of some children- Civil code is not yet up to par with the science aspect; children concieved in vitro or artificial insemination are not protected under the civil code at all
  3. 3. Binding effect of judgments on status- Former code provided that the rules were binding in the effect of judgments applied to decisions on status; the question now though is, is it still considered to apply presently and for the future
  4. 4. Total Failure to coordinate legislative texts- Reform of the civil code should include other legislative texts such as in the following example; (The Banking Code, Social Legislation, Code of Nationality, Social Security Code).

lack of coordination produces injustice and contradiction in Rwandan courts. [16]

Unconstitutional Provisions-

  • judge as law maker
  • interference with privacy
  • inequality between spouses

Human Rights[edit]

Rwandan Households are dependant on the protection and assistance of UNHCR:

  • lack of land
  • limited access to education
  • low skill levels
  • harsh living conditions
  • poor soil, eroded hillside, inclement weather
  • crowded shelters
  1. 1. Favorable Protection Environment- government officials are trained in international refugee and human rights law
  2. 2. Fair Protection Processes- national institutions are assisted in the issue of civil documentation and travel documents
  3. 3. Security from Violence/Exploitation- early childhood development centers are set up; theirs is training on childrens rights, and than child protection committees are instituted
  4. 4. Basic Needs/Services- 95% of dwellings are adequate, access to 20 liters of water a day per person, camp-based refugees have adequate sanitation, 15,000 kids age 6 to 11 have primary education

Durable Solutions to these problems-

  • information campaigns conducted in and out of Rwanda
  • government provides favorable reception conditions for 30,000 refugees
  • reintegration assistance is provided and monitoring activities are undertaken through the country
  • 3,500 individuals are submitted for resettlement
  • suitable solutions are found for the remaining 360Burundians in Rwanda


Works Cited[edit]

  1. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  2. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  3. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  4. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  5. Lewis, Paul M. "Ethnologue, Web Version." Ethnologue, Languages of the World. SIL International, 2009. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  6. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  7. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  8. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  9. "CIA Site Redirect — Central Intelligence Agency." Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <>.
  10. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. UNODC, 2011. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. <>.
  11. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. UNODC, 2011. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. <>.
  12. "US Department of Justice." Office of Justice Programs. US Department of Justice, 2011. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. <>.
  13. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. UNODC, 2011. Web. 18 Feb. 2011. <>.
  14. "Directory of Citizenship Requirements Worldwide." US Office of Personnel Management. US Office of Personnel Management, Apr. 2011. Web. 08 Apr. 2011. <>.
  15. "Human Rights." U.S. Department of State. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. <>.
  16. Grand
  17. UNHCR Welcome. Web. 02 May 2011. <>.