The Right to a Fair Trial is one of the fundamental safeguard to ensure that accused persons are protected from arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of their freedom and human rights. According to International Human Rights law, the states must respect, protect and fulfill its obligations related to the enjoyment of fair trial right by the accused persons within their territory and/or jurisdiction. Thus, Rwanda, as well as other states, must organize their judicial and legal systems well as to align with the requirements of right to a fair trial.
This study intends to evaluate the adequacy of Rwandan criminal law in the light of the right to a fair trial. It analyzes the legislations which are closely related to the fair trial right and criminal court proceedings. In this perspective, the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Penal Code are qualitatively analyzed.
This research argues that despite attempts to reform and domesticate International Conventions and Agreements, Rwandan criminal judicial system still largely falls far too short of complying with the International Human Rights obligations related to the fair trial right. It aims to contribute to the existing scholarship by suggesting measures and mechanisms to ensure compliance of Rwanda’s Judicial Criminal Justice System with the right to a fair trial. Ultimately, this paper provides the rights of a fair trial as provided in Rwandan Criminal Law.
The paper used doctrinal method. Hence, main legislations, which are closely related to the fair trial right and criminal court proceedings, are to be qualitatively analyzed, namely, the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and other laws as Code of Penal Code and Evidence Act.
This Article begins with the introduction. It proceeds to examine the notion of the right to fair trial, the Rwandan criminal legal frameworks in the test of fair trial, and the conclusion. This contribution recommends that the current criminal legal framework should be reformed for improvement of the Rwanda’s criminal legal frameworks.