A five-day training seminar in information and documentation techniques for Rwandan legal librarians opened Monday by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda at its Umusanzu Information and Documentation Centre in Kigali. About 20 participants from the Supreme Court, the office of the Prosecutor General and from the Ministry of Justice are attending the training that is part of the Tribunal’s outreach programme.
The training session is the first in a series of three being offered to librarians from Rwandan academic and legal institutions. The second training session will focus on the use of WINISIS, the library management software developed and distributed by UNESCO. The third session will provide training in online information searching.
In his opening speech to the participants, Mamoudou Touré, ICTR Chief of Administration in Kigali, praised the Rwandan Government for its initiative in setting up court libraries in various provinces of the country. Speaking on behalf of the ICTR Registrar, Mr. Adama Dieng, Touré said that this project fits into the government’s policy towards the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Rwanda. He said he was happy to note that though the Tribunal and the Rwandan Government are working at different levels, they are both aiming at the same ideal, that of justice, reconciliation and peace in the country.
Mr. Touré added that justice could only be achieved if the rule of law is known and understood by all Rwandans. He also indicated that the ICTR recognizes this need and that is why it established an outreach programme to support the Rwandan people in their efforts to rehabilitate the judicial sector. He thanked the staff of the Umusanzu Centre, which is the flagship of the Tribunal’s outreach programme in Rwanda.
Mr. Touré said that the Government of Rwanda is complementing access to legal information through the creation of court libraries beyond Kigali. He recognized the existence of a renewed spirit of cooperation with the ICTR. In addition to training of future court library managers, he announced on behalf of the ICTR Registrar, that the ICTR will continue to support the Rwandan judicial sector and provide libraries with all the judgements and other related information to raise public awareness about the Tribunal’s work.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Mrs.Odette Murara, the Secretary General of the Supreme Court thanked the ICTR on behalf of the Court for the good cooperation that exists between the Government of Rwanda and the Tribunal. ‘’This training has come at the right time as we are trying to set up the already mentioned court libraries and there is no doubt that the knowledge acquired here will be instrumental in the strengthening of our judicial system,’’ Mrs. Murara said.
She welcomed the components of the second and third training sessions. “This form of technology could assist the judiciary in accomplishing its activities in a more expeditious and efficient manner” added Mrs. Murara.
The training seminars are a part of the capacity building programmes that the ICTR continues to undertake in order to strengthen the Rwandan judicial system.