A workshop with the aim of promoting discussion on the need to reform current rules governing Myanmar’s legal profession is to be hosted by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), the London-based organisation of international legal practitioners said.
The workshop will feature Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of the Myanmar Parliamentary Committee on the Rule of Law and Tranquility, and will take place in Naypyitaw from 28-30 October at Hotel Max.
Five representatives from the Union Attorney-General’s Office, 21 of Myanmar’s parliamentarians and 16 lawyers from across the country, are also attending the workshop, titled Laws Regulating the Legal Profession: A Comparative Review.
IBAHRI Director Dr Phillip Tahmindjis AM said, “In many developed legal systems, the laws governing the legal profession provide an overarching legal framework which enables lawyers to discharge their functions freely and independently. To bring Myanmar into line with such legal systems and to protect the integrity and professional standards of lawyers, the nation’s bar associations will need to be established under law and the Myanmar Bar Council Act reformed, as a matter of priority.”
He said: “The IBAHRI and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi workshop is particularly timely, taking place ahead of the third meeting of the Steering Committee on the Establishment of a National Bar Association in Myanmar due to be held on November 1 and presents a unique and important forum that brings together parliamentarians and lawyers to discuss the international standards and best practices relating to laws governing the legal profession.”
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the event, and Professor in Law and Legislative Drafting and Director of Research Programmes and Academic Director of Sir William Dale Centre Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Helen Xanthaki, will conclude the first day’s proceedings with a presentation on broader legislative drafting processes, considering issues such as ethics, social change and quality. Robert San Pe, Senior Legal Advisor to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, will act as moderator for the workshop.
On the second day of the workshop, participants will undertake a comparative review of laws regulating the legal profession from around the world and consider the current laws regulating the legal profession in Myanmar. Session speakers include: Minn Naing Oo, managing director at Allen & Gledhill, Myanmar, Shirley Pouget, senior programme lawyer, IBAHRI, Dr Phillip Tahmindjis AM, and Mae Tanner, legal specialist (Myanmar), IBAHRI.
The third and final day of the event will comprise breakout sessions on the drafting of a law regulating the legal profession in Myanmar that is compliant with international standards. Group reports, discussions and recommendations will be presented in the final plenary session.