International Development Law Organization


During a period of historic democratic transition within Myanmar, the rule of law has emerged as a priority issue. The government of Myanmar has repeatedly emphasized the importance of strengthening rule of law for the development of the country as Myanmar emerges from decades of military rule. However, the legacy of policies that systematically undermined legal education, an independent judiciary and the private legal profession, combined with unchecked power of state officials and widespread corruption, have led to a serious lack of public trust in justice sector institutions and those who are responsible for dispensing justice. Public awareness of the law, and accountability of state actors for enforcing and upholding the law, will take many years of institutional change to achieve.

IDLO has been involved in a number of rule of law and access to justice projects in Myanmar since establishing a presence there in 2013, and established a field office in Yangon in October 2015.

Support for IDLO's work in Myanmar

The Attorney General of Myanmar, Tun Shin, has expressed an interest in IDLO further developing the capacity of his office.

At a meeting with senior IDLO staff in New York, he praised IDLO's approach to capacity development and stressed the importance of building on – and modernizing – systems and skills that already exist in Myanmar.


Key Initiatives

  • Recent research shows that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is one of the leading problems impacting communities across Myanmar. Women in particular face significant and widespread levels of SGBV, with both formal and informal systems failing to provide satisfactory remedies. Inadequate legal protections, combined with pervasive cultural and social stigma, low public legal awareness, and deep mistrust in the formal justice system, pose a daunting range of barriers to accessing justice and other services such as legal, medical and psycho-social support.

  • In recent years, civil society has played an increasingly important role in strengthening public legal awareness and advocating for access to justice in Myanmar. However, civil society is constrained by a limited understanding of the role of the legal system. Capacity development to enhance the knowledge and skills of civil society actors, as well as state accountability, remains a key priority.

  • IDLO is supporting the training departments of the Myanmar Union Attorney General’s Office (UAGO) and the Office of the Supreme Court of the Union (OSCU) to strengthen their capacity development strategies. The long-term goal is to help justice sector institutions implement their strategic priorities of modernizing training programs by improving the knowledge, skills and abilities of judges, law officers and court staff, and enhancing their professional development.

  • The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have established four nationally operated Rule of Law Centres in Myanmar to provide communities with the knowledge, skills and values they need to address local justice issues through training, dialogue and access to resources.

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