Myanmar Law Lecturers Strengthen Legal Skills

May 21, 2014

Law lecturers learn new skills

Taunggyi - Fifty law lecturers from across Myanmar have returned to their universities with more practical skills and richer knowledge about developing curriculum that helps extend the reach of legal services to communities.

During a ten day national Clinical Legal Education (CLE) “Summer School” training workshop, lecturers from 18 university law departments received training on CLE program methodology, program models, legal ethics and professional responsibilities, pro bono approaches, and practical legal skills in developing CLE curriculum and programs at their universities.

CLE is an innovative approach to legal education which focuses on building practical skills for law students while developing community legal outreach programs.

 “This CLE programme really enhances the rule of law sectors in Myanmar. This training gathers all of the teachers from around the country, which is why we can share our knowledge and teaching methods and experience with benefits for the whole law department and benefits the whole country. CLE Summer School will be one of the supporters for rule of law in Myanmar,” said participant Dr Yin Yin Min, law lecturer at Myitkyina University.

The Summer School workshop built on two previous CLE National Workshops held at Yangon University and Mandalay University in 2013, where Myanmar university participants expressed strong interest in developing CLE programmes within their law departments.

The training team, led by partner Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE), included a number of visiting CLE experts, offering participants opportunities to learn not only from each other, but from a range of other CLE programs and experiences regionally and internationally.

The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) previous experience in implementing successful CLE programs in India and Vietnam also offered valuable lessons on the impact of CLE in promoting legal empowerment and access to justice.

“By emphasizing practical skills development, the CLE programme supports capacity building of the country’s future lawyers and judges, and promotes access to justice for the wider community through emphasis on pro bono work and community legal outreach. UNDP views this as a key strategy for strengthening the rule of law and democratic governance in Myanmar,” said Christina Beninger, UNDP Rule of Law/Access to Justice Officer.

As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen CLE programming in Myanmar, UNDP has dedicated nearly 1 million dollars to a two year project to support the development and strengthening of CLE programmes in all Myanmar universities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

The workshop was supported by UNDP, and took place from 8 - 17 May at Taunggyi University in Shan State.

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