Rule of Law Centre Welcomes Community to Open House in Myitkyina

Oct 23, 2015

Myitkyina Rule of Law Centre opened today. “I see today’s event as a necessary step in the journey towards strengthening rule of law in Kachin: U Dau Hkwang of the Kachin Legal Aid Network.

[23 October 2015, Myitkyina] The Myitkyina Rule of Law Centre welcomed over 40 community members, civil society representatives, lawyers and law teachers representing 28 different organizations or institutions to an “Open House” event today. The event offered an opportunity for guests to visit the Centre, learn more about its aims and activities and meet the project staff.

Having formally opened its doors on 30 September, the Myitkyina Centre is the second of four Rule of Law Centres to open across Myanmar in 2015 as part of the Rule of Law Centres Project. The project provides training in knowledge, skills and values, and general awareness of the law, for legal professionals and community leaders. 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 Centre will encourage participants to examine local justice issues through the lens of international standards and best practices. This initiative is part of UNDP’s broader work in Kachin to support sustainable peace, stability and promote rule of law and development,” said the United Nations Development Programme’s Paul Doila. 

Over the course of the next year, the Myitkyina Rule of Law Centre, located at the YMCA Compound at NE 12 Myothit Quarter, will organize basic and advanced legal trainings for lawyers and community leaders, as well as a series of intensive mobile training courses for community members, including village leaders, in more remote areas. The first ten day rule of law training course will begin in the final week of November, and will involve 20 lawyers and civil society representatives as participants. The Centre will also include a legal library and will hold a number of community outreach activities. Members of the public are welcome to visit the Centre to meet the staff and learn more about its work.

“IDLO will help provide the local community with the legal knowledge and skills needed to apply rule of law principles, such as equality and fairness, to local justice issues important to people in Myitkyina," explained Kartik Sharma, Country Representative for the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).

The training and community outreach activities will be guided by core rule of law principles while also focusing on local justice issues which most impact local communities in Myitkyina and Kachin State. “I see today’s event as a necessary step in the journey towards strengthening rule of law in Kachin”, said U Dau Hkwang of the Kachin Legal Aid Network.

The first Rule of Law Centre was opened in Mandalay in August. Two other Centres are scheduled for opening in Taunggyi and Yangon by the end of this year. 

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 the International Development Law Organization (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. 

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