Myanmar (Past Project)

Legal Education Reform (UAGO)

With the advent of democratisation and the opening up of Myanmar for international cooperation in 2011, the exchange between Myanmar and German legal experts has intensified.

Following an invitation from the Union Attorney General’s Office in June 2013, a representative of the Max Planck Foundation participated in a workshop in Myanmar’s capital Naypyitaw. The workshop focused on the need for a thorough reform of legal education in the country. The representative of the Max Planck Foundation chaired a working group of Burmese and international legal experts, which explored the legal skills necessary for future law officers of different ranks. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) coordinated the workshop.

The results of the Workshop revealed the existence of structural challenges in the legal education system and the lack of adequate local expertise to overcome these challenges. Many law graduates completed their education through a correspondence learning system from home, and not on campus in continuous exchange with legal academics. The academic languages are English, which students can read but hardly speak, and Burmese. This language policy is a relic of British colonial era.

With a view to assist in resolving some of the problems in legal education and address the expertise gap, the Max Planck Foundation is developing concepts for the educational reform at the UAGO. An important subject are fair trial standards.

In November 2013, the Max Planck Foundation in collaboration with IDLO led an interactive training session for prosecutors at the Union Attorney General’s Office (UAGO) in Naypyitaw, Myanmar in a UNDP funded training project.

The training session was organised as part of a larger training of the trainers (TOT) pilot programme. The Max Planck team bridged the TOT session by running a one-week energetic fair trials training session that incorporated modern training methodologies and directed several selected Myanmar trainers in conducting fair trial training and ICCPR standards.

The Max Planck fair trial training was the first of its kind to be carried out by at the UAGO in Myanmar.

Duration

1 May 2013–31 December 2013