Home NewsNational Rwanda’s First Female Supreme Court Justice Retires

Rwanda’s First Female Supreme Court Justice Retires

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
1:38 pm

Justice Immaculée Nyirinkwaya receiving a gift from chief justice-photo Intego News

Rwanda’s judiciary on Friday July 7 held a send-off ceremony for one of the instrumental personnel who retired after seeing the sector raise from ash to glory; the supreme court Justice Immaculée Nyirinkwaya.

In the direct aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, Justice Nyirankwaya 65, was among the first to serve at the court of Appeal since 1995, before becoming the inaugural Vice chancellor for the inaugural Institute of Legal Practice and Development(ILPD) for five years until 2002.

From ILPD, Nyirinkwaya joined the Supreme Court where he served until her retirement.

It was all praise in one of the courtroom, as the judiciary community choose to celebrate Nyirinkwaya from a place where she served the country for a good part of her life.

“She is a pioneer. Nyirinkwaya is the first woman justice at the supreme court. We may recall well that before her, the Supreme court was quite like a business of men,” said Deputy Chief Justice Aloysie Cyanzayire quoted by integonews.com the source of this story.

The later gives to Nyirinkwaya credits of a straightforward person who pays much attention to details and whose conduct of a trial is amazing.

“She is a honest person who stands by the truth. In some instances, parties in a trial claim that they experienced injustice, but if one said that they saw Nyirinkwaya in a corrupt tendency in their trial, I would firmly disagree with them,” Cyanzayire said.

The Chief Justice Faustin Nteziryayo also extolled Nyirinkwaya who served Rwanda’s judiciary wholeheartedly since 1995.

Nteziryayo found in Nyirinkwaya a character of a person who challenges her colleagues to dig deeper before taking the final decision.

“When fellow justices discuss the trial and the decision to be taken, she pushes her colleagues to explore all corners of the subject matter for an immaculate ruling…she brings an idea that pushes us to think hard on the problem and the response to it,” he said.

Nyirinkwaya owes this character to a sense of humanity because she knows that every court ruling may harm a given party in the trial, so, impartiality has got no room in her professional life.

“Our decisions have an impact on the life of people. When you sentence someone to a jail term, including life in jail, when you rule that property be removed from the hands of someone and given to another party in trial, it affects the whole family of the losing party,” she said.

“It requires skills and caution to make assure impartiality.”

Among other academic achievements, Nyirinkwaya holds a Master’s degree of law which she obtained 41 years ago at the Paris II-Assas university in France.

She served in the area of law and insurance in France before coming to Rwanda where she served effortlessly to an extent that she confesses that she cannot recall the number of trials she presided.

“There has been no easy trial to me. Every trial requires special attention because parties in front of you come to you for justice, and only justice,” she said.

Nyirinkwaya said she is retiring from courtroom, trying court cases, but she is going to dedicate her time to reading and analysing laws.

Related Posts