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.
Rule of law centers: building trust in Myanmar's justice system
In 2014, the Rule of Law Centres Initiative was launched to increase trust and cooperation between justice providers and the communities they serve. With project offices in Mandalay, Yangon, Myitkyina and Taunggyi, the Rule of Law Centres trained lawyers, law teachers, government officials and civil society representatives on key rule of law and human rights issues and raised awareness of rule of law in communities across the country.
Yangon Rule of Law Centre Opens
Community members, civil society representatives, lawyers and law teachers from diverse organizations participated in an “Open House” event on 23 January 2016 to mark the opening of the Yangon Rule of Law Centre, the latest milestone in the roll-out of the Rule of Law
Third Myanmar Rule of Law Centre Opens
Myanmar's third Rule of Law Centre, a joint UNDP-IDLO initiative, has opened in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State. The Centre will promote knowledge of the law, as well as training in skills and values, for legal profess
Myanmar: Rule of Law Center Strengthens Local Justice
“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," Kartik Sharma, IDLO’s Country Representative in Myanmar told those gathered at an ‘Open House’ event to showcase the Myitkyina Rule of Law Center.
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.
Myanmar: Suu Kyi Welcomes Rule of Law Course
As many as 80 lawyers, lecturers and civil society representatives have completed an IDLO-supported, three-month rule of law course in Myanmar -- to find their achievements commended by veteran pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Aung san Suu Kyi.