At the request of the Minister of Justice a LASER Resident Adviser (RA) was embedded within government. Over a one year period the RA worked with the Legal Advisory Services in the Ministry of Justice (MINIJUST) in Kigali to develop and operationalise practical tools to enable the Government of Rwanda to negotiate and manage commercial contracts more effectively and efficiently. LASER support included helping MINIJUST to develop and roll-out a total of 11 model contracts.

During year two of engagement LASER transitioned to provision of technical support on a part time basis. In this way, LASER Rwanda continued to provide on demand support to the Government of Rwanda to institutionalise the practical tools and guidance, including through training sessions, some of which was delivered by pro bono legal experts funded through the Rule of Law Expertise (ROLE UK) programme.

LASER Rwanda also worked with stakeholders across and outside government to:

  • Consider competition regulations with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM);
  • Enhance policy dialogue and coordination between Government of Rwanda and pro poor groups (with MINICOM and Microjustice 4 Rwanda);
  • Ensure private sector perspectives on commercial law and justice were incorporated into justice sector planning (with the Justice Reconciliation Law and Order Sector (JRLOS) secretariat and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB));
  • Undertake a study tour to Uganda to learn from the Ugandan judiciary’s commercial dispute resolution reforms and small claims procedures pilot
  • Support a review of Rwanda’s internal trade law by providing a trade law expert to work with the Legal Unit in MINICOM to undertake consultations both in Kigali and the districts to shape the draft law.
  • Support the Ministry of Justice to undertake an impact analysis of its contract management reforms which includes a value for money analysis of the reforms supported.

LASER Rwanda also enabled the deployment of a lawyer through The Oxford Law and Policy Fellowship Scheme, an initiative that provides junior lawyers to line ministries in developing country governments. LASER helped the Government of Rwanda to request a Law and Policy Fellow based in Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and East African Affairs (MINEACOM, previously MINICOM), and provided financial and technical support to the Fellow.

Detail on LASER’s support in Rwanda is provided in nine case studies co-authored with the Government of Rwanda.

Case studies

Rwanda case study 1 – Using pro bono support to build government capacity.
LASER worked with the Rwandan Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD) to organise pro bono training on commercial law issues. March 2015

Rwanda case study 2 – PDIA in practice – Strengthening Contract Management
Poor contract management in Rwanda contributes to loss of domestic resources, as the government is not able to gain full value for money from foreign direct investment (FDI). This case study explores how LASER has worked with the Government of Rwanda to develop contract management tools and to draft model contracts. 7 May 2015

Rwanda case study 3 – PDIA in practice during the pilot – foreign direct investment
The  Government of Rwanda has prioritised growth for economic development and poverty reduction. Part of this involves increasing the level of FDI to the country. This case study discusses the LASER Resident Adviser’s approach to this challenge, and the identification of feasible steps. 14 May 2015

Rwanda case study 4 – PDIA in practice during the pilot – domestic resources
This case study explains how key constraints to the Government of Rwanda in mobilising domestic resources have been identified, and how these problems have been deconstructed to explore possible solutions in improving efficiency within the commercial justice sector. May 2015

Rwanda case study 5 –  (DFID Confidential)

Rwanda case study 6 – (DFID Confidential)

Rwanda Case Study 7 – Lessons from supporting a Law & Policy Fellow One of the models of technical assistance used by LASER was embedding a junior lawyers in a Ministry, and this case study details lessons from support to the Oxford Law and Policy Fellow. June 2016

Rwanda case study 8 – Lessons from supporting Small Claims Procedures (SCP) This case study describes LASER support to the Government of Rwanda to develop a small claims procedure, and help to the Ugandan Judiciary to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and national roll out strategy for the small claims procedures pilot. February 2017

Rwanda case study 9 – Gender perspectives LASER supported the Government of Rwanda (GoR) to consider gender issues as part of wider investment climate reforms. The case study draws out initial findings on issues facing women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and shares lessons on how to build gender considerations into investment climate reforms. Coming June 2017.