Rule of law: Rwanda, Somalia to strengthen judicial cooperation

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Rwanda and Somalia have announced a joint collaboration among institutions that administer justice so as to uphold the rule of law in both countries.

On Tuesday November 9, the Somali Chief Justice, Bashe Yusuf Ahmed with his delegation arrived in Rwanda for a three-day visit that will mainly focus on the use of the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS).

IECMS, the digitalised court system that aims at improving efficiency of the judiciary, especially by coordinating activities of all institutions involved in the administration of justice in the country, was first introduced in 2016.

 The following year in 2017, it was extended to all courts in the country.
Faustin Ntezilyayo, the Chief of Justice of Rwanda said the visit is a testimony for the mutual interest to strengthen cooperation of institutions between both countries.

“It is a good opportunity to exchange views on judicial reforms, best practices, and how to overcome challenges faced by our institutions in delivering timely and quality justice to our respective citizens,” he said.

He said that courts are service providers whose customers, the public, should be satisfied with the services they get.

“Satisfying the public requires consistent judicial reforms which must be undertaken in ways that are responsive to the expectations and needs of the public. Only in this way, will public trust and confidence be maintained and enhanced,” he said.

Ntezilyayo promised his Somali counterpart to help them roll out IECMS in the Horn of Africa country.

“Our team will be available to share with you our experience of IECMS within different justice institutions and I hope that you will find this experience pertinent, but I can testify that the digitisation of court processes has tremendously improved justice delivery in Rwanda, especially during difficult times when the entire world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic we continue to grapple with,” he added.

The Somali Chief Justice said they chose to learn from Rwanda because it has a very efficient and effective integrated case management system.

“We want to know how this system developed and helped the judiciary to efficiently and effectively deliver justice to the people,” Chief Justice Ahmed said.

He added that Somalia has many challenges they want to overcome such as terrorism, civil conflicts, and corruption among others and they believe this process will help them to fully overcome them.

The government is moving toward integrating remote court hearings as another feature to enhance the use of technology in the system and moving towards total digitalisation of all court functions so that all can be available online.

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