Rule of Law Centres to be established as bridges to justice

Apr 3, 2014

Daw Aung Sung Suu Kyi chairs the Coordinating Committee on Rule of Law Centres which decided to establish two pilot centres Photo: Paul Doila/UNDP

Yangon – The Coordinating Committee on Rule of Law Centres, chaired by Daw Aung Sung Suu Kyi, decided today to establish two pilot rule of law centres in Lashio and Mandalay before the end of 2014. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has agreed to assist national counterpart in setting up the two pilot centres which will provide training on local justice issues to legal professionals, police and local administration officials, and community representatives.

The Committee’s decision came in response to UNDP’s presentation of a feasibility study on Rule of Law Centres. The Committee, which is composed of parliamentarians, senior government officials and members of the judiciary, agreed on the importance of ensuring that Rule of Law Centres complement and reinforce other efforts to strengthen the justice sector. Recognizing the future centres’ accountability requirements while ensuring its independence, the Committee will further propose their governance structure.

UNDP’s study, entitled “Bridges to Justice: Rule of Law Centres for Myanmar” examined three models of possible rule of law centres. The models ranged from providing basic legal knowledge and skills training for legal professionals, to community outreach and offering direct legal services to the public.

The Committee accepted UNDP’s recommendation to pilot a model which will combine training with public awareness activities. UNDP notes that the success of the pilot centres should be determined through an independent evaluation at the end of the pilot period.

“The Rule of Law Centres can play an important role in driving change in the justice sector by helping to bridge the gaps between government, justice sector officials and communities” said Mr. Toily Kurbanov, the UNDP Country Director.

UNDP was requested in November last year to conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of Rule of Law Centres. In conducting the feasibility study, UNDP consulted at Union, state/region and township levels with justice sector officials, private lawyers, community representatives and development partners. UNDP found broad support for the idea of conducting training in ways that can also build public trust in the justice system.

Contact information

Ms. Shobhna Decloitre

UNDP Communications Specialist

+95-1-542910 to 19

shobhna.decloitre@undp.org.

 

Alex Nyi Nyi Aung

Communications Analyst

+95-1-542910 to 19

nyi.nyi.aung@undp.org

 

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