UNDP Provides Support to new Code of Ethics for Myanmar’s Law Officers

Sep 25, 2017

Myanmar launched its first ever Code of Ethics for Law Officers.

As part of its efforts to promote the rule of law in Myanmar, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support to the Union Attorney General’s Office (UAGO) and State Attorney General’s offices for the implementation of the first ever Code of Ethics for Law Officers.

The Code of Ethics for Law Officers is the product of an effort by the UAGO with support from UNDP to provide ethical guidelines to prosecutors following Myanmar’s ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2012.  It is closely aligned with the core principles contained in international examples of codes of conduct for prosecutors, including the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct. The Code of Ethics for Law Officers is the only such document directed solely at law officers in Myanmar, and it emphasizes key principles of integrity, impartiality, propriety, equality, competence and due diligence and responsibility and accountability.

 “The launching of the Code of Ethics for Law Officers is to dispense a good message that law officers will endeavor to attain justice, to promote the rule of law, to refrain from corruption and also to support the judicial sector,” said the Union Attorney General H.E. U Tun Tun OO at the launch in Nay Pyi Taw last month.  

Dawn Del Rio, Deputy Country Director of UNDP Myanmar, speaking at the same event, said that “Professional integrity, accountability, and competence are highly important criteria for all justice sector institutions of the Union government, but perhaps especially so for the Union Attorney General’s Office. (...) [H]aving a code of ethics should be seen as a protective shield for law officers who seek to pursue justice on behalf of the Republic of the Union.” She also noted that ‘UNDP is committed to working with the UAGO and other development partners to enhance the integrity of law officers in Myanmar’.

In addition to providing technical advice for the text of the document, UNDP has been enhancing the capacity of law officers by assisting the UAGO’s mission in explaining how similar ethical standards are implemented in foreign jurisdictions.  

Earlier this month U D. Sin Ram, the Kachin State Attorney General, introduced the new ethics document during a meeting of Kachin Law Officers in Myitkyina.  The document is expected to be introduced across all State and Regions.

The Code of Ethics for Law Officers follows the launch of the Judicial Code of Ethics and the four-year Civil Service Reform Strategic Action Plan earlier this year marking a new trend in strengthening institutions to support Myanmar’s democratic transition.