BABSEACLE is part of a consortium that has won a tender from UNDP to develop and deliver training as part of a Rule of Law Pilot Project in Myanmar. The project was initiated by the Parliamentary Rule of Law and Tranquility Committee, and runs from October 2014 to February 2015. The project is also supported by the governments of Australia, UK, Japan and USA.
Consortium partners are International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) the lead agency, BABSEACLE and Advocats Sans Frontieres (ASF).
BABSEACLE Directors Wendy Morrish and Bruce Lasky are part of the Steering Committee and as you imagine, provide hands on support for the project. BABSEACLE Directors Helen Yandell and Dr Chris Walsh are actively involved. Chris visited the team in Mandalay to develop the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy and Helen is based in Mandalay as one of the International Trainers, employed by ASF.
There are four international trainers, the other ASF trainer being Jake Stevens who has worked with BABSEACLE in Myanmar in the past as one of the trainers at the summer school in Taunggyi. Victor Matinde and Alex Prezanti are the two IDLO trainers. Rajula Atherton is the Team Leader. BABSEACLE facilitated Bebs Chorak, long know to us through Street Law Inc to come and participate in the TOT and Curriculum Development and Alex Batesmith to commence the Curriculum Development phase.
The team all met up in Mandalay to run a Train the Trainer (TOT) program specifically to train 6 National Trainers who have gone on to become the key facilitators in the Rule of Law Pilot Project workshops. Joining the group at the TOT were law teachers from the three Mandalay universities, Mandalay University, Mandalay University of Distance Education and Yadanabon University. It has been wonderful to see the two BABSEACLE projects work together to improve access to justice in Myanmar.
The workshops are being piloted in two locations, Mandalay and Lashio, up north in the Shan State. Two internationals and three national trainers make up part of the team along with national administration staff. There are two participant groups made up of Lawyers, Civil Society representatives and Law teachers. The willingness of all of the participants to work together using interactive teaching methodologies has been awe inspiring in a country where many of these justice actors have not come together in the past. They meet once a week in groups of 20.
The curriculum covers understanding the Principles of Rule of Law, how laws are made in Myanmar, Ethics and professional responsibility, working with vulnerable groups, substantive law subjects of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Administration law, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Mock Trial and community engagement. There have been two opportunities for the BABSEACLE Clinical Legal Education project and RoL project to come together to share their knowledge and learnings. The first being the Incorporating Clinical Legal Education workshop into the broader curriculum at Yadanabon University and the second is coming up with the Mock Trial trainings.
This is a truly inspiring project with the national trainers prepared to take themselves out of their comfort zones and use interactive methodology which is not used widely in Myanmar. In addition, the participants eagerly engage in the topics and share their knowledge, skills and opinions with everyone else in the group.
TOT participants getting their certificates after 3 long and full weeks.
By Helen Yandell, Director BABSEACLE Australia