The Hague, The Netherlands : ISS, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus, 2011.
Book — 68 pages : illustrations (some colored) ; 28 cm
The central objectives of this study are to identify the reasons for judicial re-forms, and to critically analyze the impacts of reform implementation on the motivation of street-level bureaucrats within the Rwandan judiciary. To do this, attention was first drawn to the current situation in terms of service delivery by courts. This was connected with street-level bureaucrats' motivation and behaviors and how these have changed with the reform process in terms of services they are in charge of delivering to courts' clients. The study starts with the judicial reforms of 2004, which have been able to address some aspects on motivation of courts' low-level workers that have been causing case adjournments, but not all. Backlogs remain a significant impediment to speeding up justice in Rwanda. And street-level bureaucrats working in the court system have experienced a range of problems, including low salaries, inadequate resources, and urban-rural divides. Especially when compared with peers in higher courts, lower courts have fewer resources and offer difficulty working conditions. Salary discrepancies, which affect both rural and urban areas, have been responsible for a high turnover amongst courts' street-level bureaucrats. This has worsened problems of case adjournments in some cases, extending backlogs. However, the picture is more complex than this suggests. Paradoxically, it was found to be at higher courts - where resources are relatively adequate but not fully utilized - that delays were worse, compared with in lower courts. New cases increase backlogs, especially when referred to appeal courts. This study investigates the situations on the ground in Rwandan Courts over the past seven years, linking the judicial reforms to impacts on the behaviors and motivation of key implementers - namely the street-level bureaucrats who in their work, interact daily with the public. Limiting new cases that enter Rwandan courts, introducing alternative conflict resolution procedures, increasing salaries of court registrars, new reforms and initiatives are needed to better fight backlogs and motivate low-level workers in the judiciary. It is hoped that this may encourage them to change their behavior, thus speeding up justice and ensuring better overall implementation of the judicial reforms introduced since 2004.