Strengthening Rwandan Administrative Justice: Land Expropriation and Administrative Justice
Land expropriation (the seizure of property for purposes in the public interest) has been a relatively contentious area of administrative decision-making over the past several years, but despite a number of important substantive reforms, including a new expropriation law in 2015, a number of procedural challenges remain, including many legally required processes that still need to be adopted via ministerial regulation, or are not implemented as intended. In some cases, simply better planning and advance communication with local authorities and the public would yield significant improvements. This section of the report provides a general description of the practice of administrative justice related to land expropriation. It was informed by the SRAJ Project’s Phase I Legal and Policy Framework Analysis, as well as the Phase II field research, which included in-depth interviews with citizens and government officials, group discussions conducted with citizens and public officials, respectively, in each of four districts (Gasabo, Bugesera, Rubavu, and Gicumbi), and cross-district group discussions with land officers from the above four districts and the two pilot districts (Kicukiro and Kamonyi) in which the survey instruments and interview guides were tested. Their views, against the backdrop of the operative legal framework, provide a multidimensional view of the current administrative process governing land expropriation. Following this section, we provide an overview of findings regarding the operation of the administrative process in practice, based on surveys administered to citizens with experience in that process. The report concludes with a summary of findings and policy recommendations.