With funding from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Transition Promotion Program and in partnership with the Burma Center Prague, ILAC member The CEELI Institute led a series of workshops in Myanmar over six days in August – September 2013 for the members of the Myanmar Lawyers’ Network. Established in 2012, the Network is a non-registered not-for-profit with over three hundred members throughout the country and the goals of upholding the rule of law, revitalizing an independent judiciary, developing a democratic constitution and safeguarding human rights. The workshops – held in Yangon and Mandalay – attracted roughly 120 participants from throughout the country.
To lead the workshops, the CEELI Institute enlisted the volunteer services of William D. Meyer, ILAC Chair, and Tomáš Vachuda of the Anglo American University in Prague. Sabe Soe of the Burma Center Prague and Quinn O’Keefe of the CEELI Institute rounded out the team. The goals of the workshops were twofold: (a) to assess the capacity of the Lawyers Network to organize its members and provide coordinated trainings, and (b) to provide a forum to assess challenges facing the Network as it pursues its overarching goal to “uphold the rule of law” in Myanmar. Discussion centered on experiences and lessons learned from other countries that recently have undergone a transition to a rule of law. The workshops also provided advocacy skills trainings to increase the Network’s capacity to educate their communities on existing rights and important changes to the constitution and laws.
Ilac member The CEELI Institute and Burma Center Prague team returned from its second round of trainings for the Myanmar Lawyers’ Network in Yangon and Mandalay. This training focused on legal advocacy and presentation skills and worked with lawyers who often in addition to their regular cases work on pro bono.