The next steps in Myanmar’s justice sector development process

Jan 25, 2013

Nay Pyi Taw – Practical discussions and informative knowledge-sharing continued during the second day of ‘Promoting Justice Sector Development in New Democracies – a Seminar on Comparative Experiences from the Region’ in Nay Pyi Taw on 25 January 2013.

The main recommendation suggested by the seminar was to either expand the scope of the existing legal advisory body or to establish a new justice sector reform body to guide the reform of the justice sector.

This two-day seminar, which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) co-hosted with the Union Attorney General’s Office, allowed for a dialogue among national and international experts for strengthening the justice sector in Myanmar.

Public officials from the Union Attorney General’s Office, the Supreme Court of the Union, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Immigration and Population, the Myanmar Police Force, the Bar Council of Myanmar and international justice experts from the region and around the world, engaged in a variety of panel discussions. Also Members of Parliament and Civil Society took part in interactive Question and Answer sessions. Over 180 individuals attended the seminar.

The seminar participants agreed that the single most powerful tool for legal reform is legal aid and legal awareness.  Change really takes place when a poor person who has no legal understanding and is afraid to speak is represented by someone who isn’t and who has the necessary understanding.

The holistic approach that UNDP takes in its support of Rule of Law and Access to Justice stresses the concept of Justice for All. The benefit of the poor and marginalized being a priority of its work, UNDP envisages support to community-level assistance and enhanced legal awareness, while also strengthening institutional capacities and assisting legal reform. It aims to do so, building upon the work of and in cooperation with other UN agencies and development partners.

“In the Nay Pyi Taw Accord for Effective Development Cooperation, the Government of Myanmar has committed to strengthen the rule of law and improve access to justice and to information. UNDP is honoured to be part of the multi-stakeholder dialogue that is to accompany and assist these efforts,” stated Mr. Toily Kurbanov, Country Director of UNDP, in his closing remarks.

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Alex Nyi Nyi Aung, Communications Analyst

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