Rwanda Legal Development Project
RLDP was initially conceived among a group of 12 students from the Class of 2014 who share an interest in African governance and development, and are passionate about several issues related to those themes. We rallied around Rwanda for a number of reasons, and we spent several months learning about its history, governance, economic and legal development as we discussed different potential project models. We believe that Rwanda presents one of the most interesting legal systems in the world at present, with a number of challenges that persist relative to Rwanda's recent history and relentless (and ongoing) story of economic progress. In one year's time, with support from the law school, we have been able to take our general interests and ideas for a project, refine them in dialogue with Rwandan authorities, and reach a point where the law school has recently sanctioned RLDP as one of the student initiatives our administration is most excited about in the near future. We have formed partnerships with high-level authorities in the Rwandan government and education system. From this dialogue, we have proposed a project model whereby SLS students will be reviewing and commenting on laws that are pending in Rwanda for passage (in response to focused queries from our Rwandan partners), and researching comparative policy issues that concern Rwandan lawmakers during the process. In addition, we will be adapting our policy reports into case studies that will serve as the foundation for clinical coursework to be adopted by the Law Faculty at the National University in Rwanda. In the future, we plan to branch out to produce additional academic material as well, in conjunction with our expanding database of case studies based on relevant Rwandan policy issues.
At present, this project represents the Law School's core commitment in Africa. It will also be distinctive from the other Rule of Law projects because it will not focus upon student publication of a textbook. It is likely that, in the future, RLDP will produce a text at the request of the National University of Rwanda--but such a project will be undertaken in parallel to the model described above. The core objectives will remain the same, solidified in agreements we are finalizing with our Rwandan partners: we will assist the Rwandan government, at its direction, to address difficult comparative policy questions that bear on Rwanda's development strategy and legal institutions. And we will leverage that partnership to work with Rwandan legal educators and professionals to address the capacity gap that persists in the legal system.
We sincerely hope that this project captures your interest. If you have specific questions about the project model and logistics, or general questions about Rwanda, please do not hesitate to approach us this week. Ryne Saxe is the primary contact for RLDP, available by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone at 618-610-7339. You may also feel free to approach any of the 2Ls who are involved with RLDP:
- Joy Basu (email@example.com)
- Chris Boots (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- John Butler (email@example.com)
- Maura Freedman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Ryan Harper (email@example.com)
- Maureen Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Zach Kruth (email@example.com)
- Casey Raymond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Tarana Riddick (email@example.com)
- Jennifer Wiliams (firstname.lastname@example.org)