On 23rd December 2016, the Rwanda Bar Association held its 2016 Conference and General Assembly that attracted slight 1000 lawyers.
Participants including partners of the Bar Association turned their discussions around the conference theme named “The Role of Advocates in Rwanda’s Economic Growth and Development”.
In his opening remarks, the Guest of Honor, Honorable Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, briefly reminded the history of the Rwanda Bar Association which started in 1997 with only 37 members to become a vibrant Bar Association that comprised around 1,200 members as of today.
As far as the Role of Advocate in Rwanda’s economic growth and development is concerned, the Minister of Justice commended the lawyers to fully participate in the elaboration and implementation of Rwanda’s economic objectives.
More particularly, he invited Advocates to fight criminality in general and financial crimes in particular because they hamper the country’s economic development.
He pointed out that 1200 advocates constitutes an important asset for Rwanda’s economic growth and development so long as they exploit the opportunity that is provided to them by the Government of Rwanda through the EDPRS II.
In his presentation, the President of the Rwanda Bar Association, Mr. Julien Gustave Kavaruganda, invited advocates to actively play their role in advancing the Rwanda’s economic growth and development through Participating in the elaboration, implementation & evaluation of the National vision and programs; Exploiting the opportunity provided by the Country development; Improve the reputation and legal capacity of local advocates/lawyers; Strengthening professional skills; Developing international language skills as to assist the Country in the negotiation of international investment contracts; Developing specialization in different fields of law; Developing new approach of professional management (Working in law firms) and related training (Setting up and law firm management); Developing cross border legal practice skills as to enable practice beyond the Rwandan borders; Increasing partnership with key stakeholders –such as Parliament – Judiciary – Government- Private Sector-School of Law; Initiating use of technology (IT) in their daily work as to ease access to information on emerging trends the legal profession; Complying with professional ethics; and providing Quality service as the guiding principle of the legal profession as to increase trust among the citizens.
Advocates took the opportunity to ask questions regarding the exercise of their profession and to contribute to the Conference theme and responses were provided by the Minister of Justice and the Bar President.
The Conference was concluded by the General Assembly which was made of the presentation of the brief annual report of the disciplinary committee, auditor’s report 2015, presentation and adoption of the Bar Budget 2017.