Myanmar’s court officials discuss judicial independence and integrity with international experts

The seminar was on “The Role of Judicial Independence and Integrity in Improving the Effectiveness of the Rule of Law”, with the participation of the ICJ.

The event, hosted by the Office of the Supreme Court of the Union (OSCU) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the ICJ, took place in Nay Pyi Taw on February 10th and 11th 2014.

It was attended by more than 40 judges and senior court administrators from all states and regions in Myanmar.

Discussions at the seminar focused on the ways in which Myanmar’s judicial system can continue to develop its functional independence and deliver justice for all.

In opening the seminar, the Honourable Chief Justice of the Union, U Htun Htun Oo, remarked that judicial independence and integrity are essential to building a reliable judicial system in which the people of Myanmar can trust, and which can uphold the rule of law.

During the seminar, Justice Kalyan Shrestha of Nepal, and ICJ Vice President Justice Michèle Rivet of Canada shared their experiences of the challenges of preserving judicial independence as a key pillar of a democratic society.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Renata Lok-Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator, also noted that in addition to the importance of a fair legal framework, a trained judiciary and well-functioning court system, “the other half of the equation is from the bottom up: it is people’s perceptions of the professionalism, integrity and fairness of the system.”

Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s regional director for Asia and the Pacific added that “access to an independent and impartial tribunal is a human right”.

Both UNDP and ICJ expressed their willingness to continue working with Myanmar’s judiciary on the issues of judicial independence, and justice for all for the long-term.

Photo: ICJ Vice President Justice Michèle Rivet, Justice Kalyan Shrestha and Chief Justice U Htun Htun Oo


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