Taunggyi Rule of Law Centre OpensDec 15, 2015
The Taunggyi Rule of Law Centre opened last week, attracting senior government officials and civil society actors to an open day event that provided detailed services the centre would provide.
Over 70 representatives of local authorities, the Shan State High Court, the Shan State Advocate General’s Office, the Myanmar Police Force, local bar associations and law groups, Taunggyi University’s law faculty and a range of civil society organizations visited the Centre, the third following those established in Mandalay and Myitkyina.
The Taunggyi Centre has been established as part of the Rule of Law Centres project and will provide training in knowledge, skills and values, and general awareness of the law, for legal professionals and community leaders. The first training course in Taunggyi will commence next week and will include interactive modules on criminal law, the Myanmar legal system, ethics and equality.
The Centre 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.
Speaking at the event, Dr Nilar Soe, Law Professor and Head of the Law Faculty at Taunggyi University, stressed the importance of legal education in empowering people, “It is important for the organisations involved in this project to work with members of the community to raise levels of legal awareness so that people are informed about their rights. People need to know about Myanmar laws as well as international legal standards in order to strengthen respect for and protection of rights.”
The Rule of Law Centres Project is being run jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Development Law Organisation (IDLO).
“Focusing on how to implement the rule of law so that people – especially marginalized groups – can have equal rights and access to justice is critical at this point in Myanmar’s history,” said Soe Moe Kyaw, IDLO’s National Program Manager for the Rule of Law Centres Project.
“The Rule of Law Centre offers an important opportunity for inclusive development within the justice sector in Myanmar, and will equip lawyers and community representatives with valuable practical skills, as well as enhancing rule of law values within the community. The training and outreach activities will help to increase public awareness of important legal issues, helping to build greater public confidence in the justice system and promoting principles of fairness, independence and accountability,” said U Cin Than Kham, Area Office Coordinator for UNDP in Taungyyi.
The Rule of Law Centres Project is supported by the governments of Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and other international development partners. They 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 chaired by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Taunggyi Rule of Law Centre is located at No.60, Yeik Thar Street, Thit Taw Quarter, Taunggyi.