Launch of a Legal Aid Toolkit in Myanmar
Tetra Tech’s Promoting the Rule of Law Project launches a legal aid toolkit for lawyers in Myanmar
In December 2016, Tetra Tech’s USAID-funded Promoting the Rule of Law Project (PRLP) culminated many months of work with the formal introduction of its Legal Aid Toolkit, a technical manual designed as a self-education resource for lawyers and legal professionals providing legal aid to Myanmar citizens. Some sections of the Toolkit cover skills that legal aid providers need to perform their job well, including case analysis, witness interviewing, alternative dispute resolution, and trial advocacy, while other sections address what it means to be a legal aid provider, including how to operate a legal aid organization and manage legal aid cases.
The Toolkit launch event was a major public success, attended by over 200 senior legal aid lawyers, law students, paralegals, PRLP staff, civil society organization members, and USAID representatives and publicized on the US Embassy website and in the Myanmar Times. Speaking at the launch event, USAID Myanmar Mission Director Teresa McGhie praised the Toolkit as an important resource that, “will strengthen the quality of legal aid services and improve access to justice in Myanmar." PRLP has prepared both Myanmar and English language versions of the Toolkit, including templates for commonly used forms, which will be distributed to legal aid providers in conjunction with planned Toolkit trainings in the coming year.
Legal aid in Myanmar is at an important stage of development, with the Government of Myanmar having recently enacted a Legal Aid Law, communities and individuals learning about the availability of legal aid, and legal aid providers perfecting the skills they need to serve their clients. PRLP’s Legal Aid Toolkit is an important contribution prepared with the goal of educating and assisting Myanmar's legal aid providers during this exciting period.