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Who Is Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, the New Justice Minister?

by Edmund Kagire
4:35 pm

Dr. Ugirashebuja is the new Justice Minister and Attorney General

President Paul Kagame on Friday appointed Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, replacing Johnston Busingye, who was appointed Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK on August 31.

Dr. Ugirashebuja is the immediate former president of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), a position he took up in May 2014. He is also the Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Law at the University of Rwanda.

At EACJ, Dr. Ugirashebuja, who ended his duty of tour in June last year, replaced Justice Harold Nsekela, a Tanzanian national who had been at the helm of the regional court for seven years.

Before taking up the presidency of the EACJ, Justice Ugirashebuja was in 2013 appointed a Judge at the Appellate Division of the Arusha-based court. The EACJ is one of the organs of the East African Community (EAC). The Court’s major responsibility is to ensure the adherence to law in the interpretation and application of and compliance with the EAC Treaty.

The Court also has jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes between the Community and its employees arising from the terms and conditions of employment or the interpretation and application of the staff rules and regulations.

Dr. Ugirashebuja, a renowned academic, was a constitutional law and human rights lecturer at the former National University of Rwanda, now University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Humanities.

He boasts of an LL.B, LL.M from the former National University of Rwanda and a PhD from the University of Edinburg in United Kingdom.

Dr. Ugirashebuja is described as an experienced lawyer with a solid academic background. He has vast knowledge on both the civil law and common law traditions, East African law, International law, international Economic law and environmental law. He served on a regional team of experts on East African Integration. He has also served as an arbitrator and mediator in several cases.

Dr. Ugirashebuja also previously served as a legal advisor for the Rwandan Constitution Commission, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (Rema), among others.

He also serves as a Trustee member of Client East, a global movement that fights climate change and defends environmental causes. He has given lecturers on diverse subjects of environmental law and international law to various well-renowned Universities. He was educated and has practiced in the major legal systems, namely, common law and civil law systems.

In addition, he has been bestowed confidence by his peers by being elected to different judicial and legal bodies, notably; the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment, supported by the UNEP and IUCN; He is also a member of the Governing Board of the International Association of Law Schools.

Dr. Ugirashebuja has built experience of a far wider range, from being an international judge, scholar, practitioner and consultant in environmental law.

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