What began as an idea in January, 2013 has now become a reality. Looking back at the presentations given by BABSEA CLE Director Bruce A. Lasky in Myanmar on the need to support justice education to strengthen the legal sector, and CLE being a core component of this, just months later is actually happening.
This is in large part a result of a willingness on the part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a number of Myanmar University Law Departments to assist in the pioneering of this global movement within the country while simultaneously joining the Global CLE movement. Currently the UNDP supports CLE as a key dimension of strengthening rule of law and access to justice, by raising the awareness of students about social justice, and strengthening their sense of values and ethics as well as their capacities to engage in legal empowerment of poor and marginalized communities. As Myanmar continues to implement economic, political and institutional reforms including strengthened rule of law and access to justice, universities in Myanmar have expressed strong support for the establishment of CLE programmes in their universities.
This is being done with the collaborative support of a global consortium made up of BABSEA CLE, DLA Piper, New Perimeters, CLE Foundation, BABSEA CLE Singapore, Open Society Foundation, BABSEA CLE Australia, with the support of a keen local Myanmar team, and many other CLE related individuals and institutions from throughout the region and globally.
Together the consortium has begun an initial seven month project with the main objective being to provide technical support to universities throughout Myanmar to increase their understanding of CLE and to support them to develop strategic plans for the establishment of CLE programmes in their universities. This will be done in a number of ways including participants from approximately seventeen universities attending two national CLE training workshops being planned for July and September. It will also include a number of university law department personnel, interested in developing CLE programmes, and attending a variety of regional CLE and access to justice events. Some of these events include the BABSEA CLE organized 2nd SE Asia/Asia Pro-Bono Conference being held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Oct 11-12) [https://www.babseacle.org/articles/2nd-sea-asia-pro-bono-conference-hcmc-viet-nam/#more-2778 ] and the Global Alliance for Justice Education 7th Worldwide Conference being held in India (Dec 10-18) [http://www.gaje.org/conferences/7th-worldwide-conference].
While it is recognized that the development of these programmes in Myanmar, just like in all other countries BABSEA CLE has assisted in, will involve flexibility and awareness of local issues and environment, BABSEA CLE is confident of its success. We are honored to be even a small part of introducing these eager universities into what has clearly become a Global CLE movement