Only 3% petitions seeking retrial are valid – Chief JusticePublished on: 18/10/2020

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Chief Justice, Faustin Ntezilyayo addresses media practitioners ahead of a three-day training programme on human rights and judicial reporting in Kigali on Wednesday,

Only three per cent of the cases that are filed to the Supreme Court seeking retrial based on the claim that they were unfairly tried, merit fresh trials, the Chief Justice, Faustin Ntezilyayo said on Wednesday.

Ntezilyayo was addressing members of the media at a press conference ahead of a three day training programme on human rights and judicial reporting.
The training was organised by the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) and the Legal Aid Forum (LAF) and funded by the European Union (EU).

Ntezilyayo explained that there is need to sensitise Rwandans to spend less time requesting a repeat of court cases since many are upon review found to have been adjudicated within the confines of the law stipulates and basing on available evidence.

“We need the media to help us to sensitise Rwandans on the value of not spending their valuable time pursuing cases that have already been tried by competent courts. Of course it is their right to seek a fresh trial if they are not satisfied but we feel the fact that only three per cent of these cases make it to court means something,” he said.

Ombudsman’s role

Ntezilyayo pointed out that although the law gives the Ombudsman the power to request a retrial in a case whose pronouncements he deems unfair, the judiciary has the right to accept or reject it.

“There are times that we review the Ombudsman’s request and we don’t agree based on the articles in the law or the methods that they used to review the evidence,” he said

The law however requires the complainant to request the Ombudsman’s intervention as a last resort after exhausting all legal avenues up to the Supreme Court.

Reduction in cases

A thorough review of cases reported to the Ombudsman’s Office between 2017 and 2018 regarding unfair court rulings indicate that at least 5.9 per cent were legitimate.

Of these, land issues came at the top at 31.7 per cent, delay in execution of court rulings at 31.2 per cent, expropriation issues at 11.2 per cent, labor and poverty issues at 4 per cent each.

Source : Newtimes Rwanda

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