Citizens Monitoring of the Justice Sector in Rwanda: Making the Justice Institutions More Responsive to the Concerns of Citizens

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This project aimed at collecting citizen feedback in relation to their satisfaction with the delivery of justice services. The survey was a collaborative effort between the Legal Aid Forum (LAF), its member organizations, and Oxfam in Rwanda, with the financial support of DFID’s Security and Justice Innovation Fund.

The survey findings affirm the progress realized towards promoting access to quality justice for all: 79% of survey respondents who requested services from legal aid providers (both state and non-state) were able to receive them, and 84.9% of respondents were satisfied with the ability of Abunzi to settle disputes. Nevertheless, the average waiting time for a case to be resolved (454 days) and delays in execution of judgement (up to 8 months), are contrary to the common adage that justice delayed is justice denied. This project thus recommends that the government increase efforts to make citizens more aware of the free legal aid services MAJ staff can provide to the indigent and needy. Finally, LAF believes that that capacity and policy gaps identified in this study should be swiftly addressed in order to maintain and increase citizens’ positive perceptions of the Justice Sector, and to guarantee greater access to justice.

Keywords: Delivery of justice services; Citizen feedback; Access to justice; Rwanda.

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