November 2, 2006

Law Professors to Help Create Rwandan Law

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Professors from the Cornell Law School will soon be helping the government of Rwanda in developing a code of contract law for the recovering country.

The drafting of this new set of laws will prove an important step in the rebuilding process of Rwanda, a country torn by a half-century of conflict between Tutsi and Hutu tribes that resulted in genocide in 1994, a calamity from which the country is still attempting to recover.

Robert S. Summers, the W.G. McRoberts Professor in the administration of law, has been chosen by the government of Rwanda to work alongside Prof. Don Wallace, Jr., law, Georgetown on the project.

Summers, who is internationally renowned for his work in commercial law and contracts, has previously worked on drafts of civil code for the countries of Russia and Egypt. In addition to Summers, Robert A. Hillman, Cornell’s Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law, and Prof. Muna Ndulo, law, will also act as advisors on the drafting.

As Rwanda does not presently have a clearly structured civil law system, the work of these professors will prove important in future dispute resolution in the country.

Rwanda’s implementation of an American-style legal system will also counteract the negative effects of German- and Belgian-style colonial laws that have been the standard in the country for several decades.

Initial drafts of the laws are expected to be finished by the end of this year.