Lawyers of Hope began life in 2004 when the then National Director of World vision Rwanda met with a US judge serving as Director of Advocacy International. They were both concerned that there was no group in Rwanda committed to delivering justice for the poor. After a meeting to discuss ideas, a Rwandan lawyer was invited to a Convention in the US. At the Convention there was a desire to bring together lawyers in Rwanda. At this time our current Child Rights Coordinator Juves was working for World Vision and was approached to support this new initiative. Christian lawyers were invited to a meeting at Scripture Union. The meeting was attended by judicial officials including judges and lawyers. They agreed that through simple advocacy and advice it is possible to change the lives of ordinary people. After discussion they decided that targeting very old people, children and the needy would be priorities. From here the Bible verse to ‘defend the cause of the poor and needy’ was decided as the command to underpin our work. The group later chose the name the Network of Lawyers of Hope.
By 2005 judges from the UK and US visited Rwanda to build up and encourage the Network. Later that year members were invited to a CLEAR conference in Kenya. At this conference the founding members of Lawyers of Hope, Rwanda, wrote a proposal for future work and aims. Our long-term partner the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship began to send money to support office costs.
In 2006 we began the process to register the Network of Lawyers of Hope as an NGO. This was a lengthy process as we began filing papers in the Gasabo District. After a lot of effort and many journeys we were eventually granted NGO status. Soon after, our first intern was sent from Lawyers Christian Fellowship. We then began receiving cases at the end of 2007.
As our work and members grew so we moved offices from Scripture Union to our current location at Kimironko. We currently have an office staff of five with over 300 lawyers part of our Network.
A Para-judicial response to the land dispute resolution chain in Rwanda.
HITABABYAYE J-Pierre is an active member in our Network since 2011, He is currently working for RCN Justice et Democratie/ Rwanda Programme. He is a lawyer in charge of monitoring and coaching in the Prevention and Resolution of land conflicts Project. The article was drawn and published in French it is focusing on the importance of work of Abunzi in Rwandan justice system after the Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi in 1994. For more information download the full document
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The “Consultative meeting between Lawyers of Hope and Church Leaders/Media” of March 13, 2015 at Solace Ministries/Kacyiru convened by LOH/Rwanda brought together over 28 participants including lawyers, media professionals and leaders and representatives of different Christian churches.
The meeting focused on the engagement of church and media leaders for God’s justice, Christians’ devotion to work for the sake of speaking for the speechless and ways that LOH can work with churches and church organizations and media to more effectively partner for the cause of the speechless.
For more information ,download the full document.
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Week beginning 13th September 2015.
Jon Hyde (London)
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
(Matthew 5:9, NIV)
If you stopped someone in the street and asked them to describe a lawyer in one word, what odds would you give to them using "peacemaker"? I think we could agree that the prospects of success would be poor!
However, as He opens the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, Jesus is clear that His disciples should be known as precisely that. In fact, it is evidence that they are children of God. Children reflect their father, and God is the supreme peacemaker. Jesus says that those who emulate God in this way are blessed.
How might we reflect Him as lawyers?
One way is by being His instrument as He leads us to make peace between people, particularly in our cases and also in our workplaces. Moreover, God made peace with us through the cross when we were His enemies and thereby reconciled us to Himself. Accordingly, we can also seek to emulate Him by His Spirit in loving and making peace with our "enemies" insofar as we can, be they opponents in our cases or even colleagues at work. Let us be known and distinctive by reflecting our Heavenly Father in this way.
1. Give thanks to God for making peace possible between Him and us through the cross.
2. Ask God to show you ways in which you can make peace this week and to empower you by His Spirit to do so.