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History of the Supreme Court

History of the Justiciary could be divided into four periods whose features are summarised as follows :

1. Period from 1961 to 1978

The Constitution of January 28, 1961 that instituted a Judicial Power of the Supreme Court that was composed of 5 members appointed by the President of the Republic. The latter had the power to appoint and dismiss the magistrates of the Supreme Court. With the advent of the Constitution of November 24, 1962, the Supreme Court was composed of 5 sections: the Department of Courts and Tribunals, the Court of Appeals, the Constitutional Court, the Council of State and the Audit Office

2. Period from 1978 to 1994

According to the Constitution of December 28, 1978, the President of the Republic was the guarantor of independence of the Judicial Power and President of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (SCJ), the Minister of the Justice was the Vice-President of the latter.

Magistrates were appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic on recommendation of the Minister of Justice after consultation with SCJ. Members of this Council were appointed by the President of the Republic.

The Supreme Court with 5 sections was replaced by 4 High Jurisdictions which were separate from each other, including: the Court of Appeals, the Council of State, the Constitutional Court (composed of the Court of Appeals and the Council of State) and the Audit Office.

4. Period from 1994 to 2003

This post-genocide period has been marked by the adoption of the Fundamental Law that instituted the following ordinary jurisdictions: the Canton Tribunals, the First Instance Tribunals, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. This new Supreme Court consisted once again of 5 sections: the Department of Courts and Tribunals, the Court of Appeals, the Constitutional Court, the Council of State and the Auditor Office. According to the 18/04/2000 reform of the constitution , it was also provided with a sixth section named Department of " GACACA jurisdictions ". The Supreme Court was headed by a President assisted by 6 Vice-Presidents and included Advisers acting as judges. Every Vice-president was also President of one of the sections of the Supreme Court. The Superior Council of the Judiciary composed of 21 professional magistrates was in charge of managing the career of the Judges of the Courts and Tribunals other than the President and the Vice-Presidents of the Supreme Court.

5. Period from 2003 to date

This period has been characterized by the adoption of the Constitution of June 04, 2003 that entailed deep changes concerning organization, functioning and competence of the Courts and Tribunals.

Latest News 

 
30.12.2016
Stop Story: The Chief Justice opened the first quarter meeting of court presidents

Stop Story: Kigali - 30 December 2016, the Chief Justice of Rwanda, Prof. Sam RUGEGE opened the first quarter meeting of the presisents of courts.Read more



20.12.2016
The Chief Justice officially opened the colloquium on judicial precedent

Kigali, 19 December 2016 in Lemigo Hotel, the Chief Justice of Rwanda, Prof. Sam RUGEGE, officially opened a three-day colloquium on judicial precedent. The colloquium is presided over by Lord Toulson and Prof. Nick Johnson....Read more