Law and Society in Rwanda

Law 601






This course will be taught in Rwanda during the summer term and is considered a companion class to Genocide, Human Rights, and International Criminal Law.

Students in this course will explore how the history and culture of Rwanda have helped give shape to its contemporary laws and legal system. They will study the controversial topic of ethnicity in Rwanda, the country’s colonial legacy, as well as its post-Independence political struggles, and explore how those factors have shaped Rwanda’s legal system. As a central part of this exploration, students will form a detailed understanding of Rwanda’s contemporary legal institutions, including its written laws, its domestic (state and customary) court systems, its law enforcement system, and its bar(s) and legal professions.

Although students in this seminar will rely on carefully chosen readings, they also will benefit from frequent guest lectures by Rwandan academics, lawyers, judges, and law-related NGO officials. In addition, students will be called upon to engage in a mix of interviewing and observation as a way of gathering information regarding how the legal system functions (or does not) in practice.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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