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Business law in Rwanda

Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary. Rwanda’s judicial system can be considered fairly independent from influences of the government, individuals, or companies, and was ranked 23rd in the global ranking on judicial independence by World Economic Forum in 2017-18 (highest ranking for African countries). However, courts still suffer from a lack of resources and capacity. Rwandan law prohibits torture and degrading treatment.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners are formally granted equal treatment as citizens. According to art. 29 of the 2003 Constitution, every individual has the right to due process of law. Furthermore, extradition of foreigners is authorised only if it is in accordance with the law or international agreements to which Rwanda is a party.
The Language of Justice
Three judicial languages are used in Rwanda which are: Kinyarwanda, French and English.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to have an interpreter in Rwanda.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The legal system of Rwanda was originally based on the Belgian civil law system, although, since the renovation of the legal framework in 2002 and tafter the country joined the Commonwealth in 2009, the actual system is hybrid, being a mixture of civil law and common law. The main sources of the law are the Constitution of 2003, formal laws, presidential orders, prime minister's orders, ministerial orders and customary laws.
Checking National Laws Online
Library of the U.S. Congress

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Latest Update: July 2022

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