Rule of Law Centre Project Commences, Mandalay Centre Opens

Aug 17, 2015

[Mandalay, August 17] The Mandalay Rule of Law Centre opened its doors today and kicked off with a refresher training for trainers. The Mandalay Centre is the first of four to be opened as part of the Rule of Law Centres Project  (Phase 1), following the successful completion of a pilot phase conducted in Mandalay and Lashio earlier this year. The other three centres will be located in Myitkyina, Taunggyi and Yangon.

The project provides training in knowledge, skills and values, and general awareness of the law, for legal professionals and community leaders around Myanmar. It also focuses on increasing public legal awareness through community outreach activities and building links with existing organizations and institutions, with the long-term goal of building trust in the justice system.

The Centres, supported by the Governments of the UK, Sweden, Finland and other international development partners and being run jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Development Law Organisation (IDLO), are an initiative of the Pyithu Hluttaw Coordinating Body for Rule of Law Centres, established under the Rule of Law and Tranquility Committee of the Pyithu Hluttaw.  Each Centre will be guided and overseen by a Local Advisory Board made up of representatives including lawyers, community leaders and Members of Parliament.

“The Rule of Law Centres will reach at least 60 new trainers and 280 lawyers, law teachers and community leaders. These lawyers and community leaders will in turn conduct other training and spread legal knowledge amongst the people of Myanmar, and contribute towards building trust in the justice system,” said Mr. Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director.

The Centres will also establish legal resource libraries, open to the community, and will host public outreach events at all four locations to raise awareness on legal issues of importance to the community.

“Promoting the rule of law is an important part of the transition process in Myanmar and IDLO feels privileged to implement this initiative to provide legal training and promote awareness of rule of law principles. Together with our partner Avocats Sans Frontières, we are pleased to continue or work on the Rule of law Centres and to apply the knowledge gained during the pilot phase," said Kartik Sharma, IDLO Country Representative Myanmar.

To promote continuity and build on the substantial gains in capacity building of national justice sector professionals, the first phase will be strengthened by the participation of returning trainers and participants from the pilot project.

U Thant Tin Maung who was a trainer for the Pilot project in Lashio and has rejoined the project as Training Coordinator said, “I am very pleased to rejoin the team and the project because I want to help develop Myanmar as much as I can. Our country is just starting to become a democracy and I hope the Rule of Law Centres will play an important part in the process. I look forward to using the knowledge and training skills I learned in the pilot project and the examples of different countries and experiences to the benefit of Myanmar.”

It is expected that in the second phase (2016-2017), the project will expand national coverage through the establishment of additional Centres, and support development of sustainable community outreach networks and initiatives. In the third phase (2018), the Project will convene a national conference to examine the impact of the Centres, and will explore options to transition the functions of the Centres into permanent professional development and/or legal assistance organizations.

Contact information

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

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