Graduates from the Rule of Law Centre Pilot Project: A Step Towards Building Public Trust in the Justice System in Myanmar

Feb 14, 2015

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi congratulates a graduate from the Rule of Law Centre pilot project Photo: Shobhna Decloitre/UNDP

A group of eighty people, made up of civil society representatives, lawyers and law teachers today received certificates upon the completion an intense training on rule of law, provided as part of a UNDP project being piloted in Lashio and Mandalay.

The certificates were handed over to the graduates by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson, Pyithu Hluttaw, Chair of the Coordinating Body for the Rule of Law Centres in the presence of Members of Parliament, representatives of the Hluttaw Speaker’s Commission and the Hluttaw Office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Toily Kurbanov, and the trainers involved in the project.

“All people must be equal before the law. Rule of law is not just for lawyers and judges, it is for the whole country. Only when we have rule of law can we enjoy peace of mind and security,” said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The three month training covered broad rule of law principles and local justice issues. It was offered through a comprehensive and interactive curriculum that wove together international standards and Myanmar law and practice. The pilot project also focused on building links with local communities, through community forums on local justice issues and mock trials. At least 188 people joined the community outreach activities.

“UNDP has heard repeatedly from judges, law officers, lawyers, police, law teachers and community members, that there is a need for training on rule of law for justice actors. This is a fundamental first step to building public trust in the justice system. The Rule of Law Centre Pilot Project has taken important early steps to meet this need in Mandalay and Lashio,”said UNDP Country Director, Toily Kurbanov.

The training was delivered by both international and Myanmar facilitators through a consortium made up of the International Development Law Organization, Avocats Sans Frontieres and Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Community Legal Initiative.

"The three partner organizations in the Consortium (IDLO, ASF and BABSEA-CLE) are all very proud to have been involved in this unique initiative. We feel privileged to have played a role in these first important steps towards the building of a more just and open society in Myanmar, governed by the principles of the rule of law," said Jasper Pauw, Country Representative Myanmar of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).

Thu Thu Aung, a student from Lashio University and the Vice President of the Green Youth organisation, said one of the key things she learnt from the training was, “Rule of law cannot be achieved with only one person or organization, it needs the participation of all people.”
Mandalay lawyer, Yadanar Than said she was very glad she had the exposure to international law and legal practices. She said it gave her the opportunity to see the difference in the way law is practiced in Myanmar.

The pilot project was initiated on the request of a Coordinating Body established under the Pyithu Hluttaw Rule of Law and Tranquility Committee, bringing together key stakeholders, including representatives of relevant government agencies, Members of Parliament and international donors supporting the initiative - United States of America, Australia, United Kingdom, Finland and Japan.

As the pilot phase of the project concludes, an independent evaluation, which will be conducted in the coming months, will determine its future direction.

Contact information

Shobhna Decloitre
Communications Specialist
UNDP Myanmar
shobhna.decloitre@undp.org

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