The central focus of this event was arbitration, positioned as a preferred approach to conflict resolution in contrast to the systematic judicialization of disputes. Prof. Rugege underscored the significance of this methodology, particularly in the context of post-genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, where reconciliation played a pivotal role in the nation’s reconstruction.
Addressing an audience comprising recent graduates and ILPD staff from diverse African countries such as The Gambia, Gabon, Cameroon, Ghana, Sudan, and Rwanda, Prof. Rugege delved into the historical roots of arbitration within pre-colonial African traditions. He highlighted the disruption introduced by the arrival of colonizers and their imposition of a judicial system.
To illustrate the advantages of reconciliation, an eloquent example involving a dispute between a patient and a hospital was presented. The decision to amicably resolve the conflict not only steered clear of negative publicity and legal consequences but also satisfied the involved parties.
Prof. Rugege also delved into the law enacted on May 12, 2023, which permits public prosecutors and investigators to act as mediators in certain offenses. This innovative approach, adopted in Rwanda since 2019, aims to expedite dispute resolution while fortifying the culture of mediation within the courts.
This conference forms part of a series of public lectures organized by ILPD, renowned for its diverse teaching methods that seamlessly integrate theoretical lectures, practical exercises, and assignments. It provided attendees, particularly students, with an enriching perspective on alternative conflict resolution methods, a vital aspect in modern legal practice.