In accordance with the Justice, Reconciliation, Law & Order Sector Strategy (2009–12), the Legal Aid Forum carried out a research project to monitor and evaluate the enforcement of court judgments in Rwanda. The research focused on the enforcement of civil judgments, excluding commercial and criminal judgements, and identified critical issues in respect to the enforcement of judgements in genocide-related legal cases.
The research project was conducted in 10 districts across Rwanda’s five provinces, with over 2,700 questionnaires administered to claimants.
The research concluded that cases relating to genocide matters are the hardest to enforce in a timely manner. 92% of all genocide-related judgments yet to be enforced have exceeded the three‐month time limit prescribed by law with some claimants having waited more than 15 years. Only 35% of interviewed claimants had awards enforced within the three‐month period.
The report concludes that “this clearly demonstrates that genocide related judgements cause the most problems in relation to enforcement.”
For land-related cases 3 out of 4 claimants, who have not yet had their judgment enforced, have been waiting for over 3 months. For claimants of financially-related judgements, only 36.5% waited longer than 3 months for the full enforcement of their judgment.
The enforcement of a final court judgment is the final step in securing justice for a claimant. As such, Survivors Fund (SURF) will be focusing further resources over the year ahead to address this matter and work towards the enforcement of judgements in genocide-related cases in order to deliver justice for survivors, particularly beyond the closure of gacaca.