Emmanuel-Javier Luzolo Bambi Lessa

Lawyer, Former Minister of Justice

Luzolo Bambi Lessa began his legal academic career as an assistant professor of law at the University of Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)) in 1984. He later moved to the University of Kinshasa, Faculty of Law, first as legal advisor to the rector and then professor of judicial law. At that institution, he currently serves as honorary chair of judicial law, while teaching criminal procedure, civil procedure, judicial organization, jurisdiction, and other courses. He has also served as the academic secretary and head of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology. Lessa belongs to the prestigious L’Ecole Pénale de Kinshasa at the University of Kinshasa. He is also head of the Department of Private and Judicial Law at the Faculty of Law of the Protestant University in the Congo (UPC). In 2002, Lessa entered government service in the Office of the Head of State, first as deputy commissioner general, in charge of the reintegration of displaced persons in the country; next as commissioner general, in charge of the reintegration of war-displaced persons; and then as advisor to the Administrative and Legal College, from 2003 to 2008. He was designated to play a key role in the DRC government’s cooperation with the International Criminal Court. In 2008, Lessa was appointed minister of justice and human rights and, for four years, led a charge from the DRC’s president to fight corruption, sexual violence, and attacks on citizens’ freedoms, and to promote justice system reform through a zero tolerance policy to impunity. As special advisor to the head of state, he has succeeded in making the fight against corruption a national issue for the Congolese political class of all political persuasions.