NATIONAL PUBLIC PROSECUTION AUTHORITY OVERVIEW

The National Public Prosecution Authority is particularly responsible in working with other institutions to ensure the country is well positioned to fight crime and protect people and their properties.. For the country to achieve its development goals, proper functioning of judicial institutions is central. The major judicial reforms we have been implementing for the past few years are in that context.

This is the kind of environment necessary for people to enjoy their rights and liberties as well as attracting investment needed for our development. In connection with this, the National Public Prosecution Authority has elaborated a Strategic Plan which is drawn to guide us in our constitutional mission.

It will not be necessary to retrace here all the details of the historical evolution of the Rwandan Prosecution but a quick overview will provide a basic grasp of the root causes that led to the present situation. Rwanda inherited from the colonial era a justice system strongly reflecting the Belgium model and thus based on the civil law tradition. For more than three decades that system was preserved with minor changes every now and them. The 1990-1994 war culminating in genocide left Rwanda with the huge task of bringing back a sense of justice to millions of Rwandans deeply marked by the atrocities of war and genocide either as victims or as perpetrator. The judicial system was almost completely shattered.

The then transitional government managed to contain the social demand for immediate justice and started the daunting task of rebuilding the whole justice system from scratch. Some landmark organic laws that addressed acute needs in justice realm were enacted between 1994 and 2003.


In 2003, Rwanda adopted a new Constitution that enshrined the principle of separation of powers. It established a judiciary that is independent and separate from the legislation and executive branches of government. Simultaneously, and for the first in the history of Rwanda’s justice system, the prosecution function was assigned to a single body: The National Public Prosecution Authority in charge of inter alia the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed on Rwandan soil or by Rwandans.