Success: National Paralegal Network Design Workshop

Namati Myanmar Team has successfully conducted a “National Paralegal Network” design workshop on 10th -12th August in Yangon. We invited all types of paralegals and legal practitioners in Myanmar (center-based, community based, mobile) and different thematic areas particularly in Gender, Land, Environment, LGBT, Criminal Justice, and Citizenship from different geographies. This workshop also brought together all organizations have been already implementing paralegal programs or providing legal aid service to communities in different ways to develop solutions that will benefit for network as a whole.

We introduced the concept of the network, shared some findings of scoping exercise, objectives and goals of workshop and overview of next seven months. ‘My Justice’ program from British Council presented Mediation vs Paralegal Approach and discussed about New Legal Aid Law including SDGs 16 what Myanmar government’s responsibilities for it to invest in legal aid sector. The workshop also focused on very practical discussions around legal empowerment practitioners to exchange and share of paralegal experiences, understanding of the paralegal profession, identify needs and priorities of the network, discuss laws implicating related to paralegal sector in Myanmar.

Discussions were fascinated and all the participants were proactive and had highly willingness to develop the network. Outcomes were really amazing and met with expectations by making big efforts to facilitate those sessions whereas there were debatable questions but richer conversation to select priority groups since we have many challenges. Participants voted to select priority work streams as a result; we could create four working groups:

  • Professional Development (empower the capacity of paralegals, creating training opportunities for all thematic areas) and exchange visits, etc…)
  • Networking, Communication and Collaboration
  • Recognition of Paralegals (standards of paralegals, legality, advocacy, security of paralegals, code of conduct and ethics etc…)
  • Sustainable Funding (fundraising for network, creating funding opportunities to run program etc…)

Each participant signed up their most interesting group and each group members elected two leaders. They developed draft TOR for each group and outlined goals with timelines.

As a next step, we will have 3 days workshop by the end of next month to bring all leaders from each working groups will comprise the 100- Day Management Team in order to implement activities and build up structure of the Network. We do expect that Network will also promote paralegal model and help to grow paralegal movements around country as well as strengthening collaboration and coordination among organizations to advance injustice issues.

Thanks for all your hard work last week for the Paralegal network! Hi All, please feel free come here if you have any comments or any addition that I missed to mention. @timmillar, @yeyinth, @caitlinpierce, @NyiNyiHtwe, @nantthithioo, @tintin, @namati_staff.

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Thank you so much for sharing, @KhinHtetWai! It’s SO exciting to hear about the workshop and see a paralegal network start to take shape in Myanmar. Huge congratulations to the Namati Myanmar team!

What were some of the biggest debates at the workshop? On what topic or topics was there the most consensus?

I’m looking forward to hearing more as the working groups and 100-day plan go forward!

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Terrific news – great work Myanmar team. Would love to see something like this as a blog post on our website with photos, that can be shared in communications with donors & other interested parties!

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Today the leaders of network design working groups move forward starting discussion at the National Paralegal Network: 100 days plan design workshop in Mandalay. The leaders of each groups shared activity updates in the discussion reflecting the inputs from each groups members.

Thanks for all your hard work today. @timmillar, @caitlinpierce, @NyiNyiHtwe, @nantthithioo, @tintinlin, @khinhtetwai

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