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EU and British Council launch programme to enhance access to justice


Kevin Mackenzie, Director, British Council Myanmar Photo: British Council

Kevin Mackenzie, Director, British Council Myanmar Photo: British Council

The European Union (EU) and the British Council have announced the launch of MyJustice, a new programme aimed at enhancing access to justice for the poor, vulnerable and marginalised across Myanmar, a joint statement said on the 29 September.

The four-year (2015-2019) programme is funded by the European Union with 20 million EUR (30 billion MMK) and managed by the British Council.

MyJustice will work to equip communities, the legal profession and justice institutions to better use and respond to innovations, such as community mediation and paralegal services, cultivating a more community-driven approach to local justice issues.

Ms Isabel Faria de Almeida, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Myanmar said “The rule of law is a priority for the EU and of great importance for the reforms in Myanmar because there can be no true democracy without the Rule of Law. The EU is delighted to support MyJustice which will promote genuine rule of law in Myanmar and should deliver tangible benefits to the people”.

MyJustice will adopt a people-centred approach to encourage learning, trust and collaboration among all actors: communities, civil society, legal professionals and justice institutions. Communities in up to six regions and states will be supported in order to deliver more equitable justice services.

Mr Kevin Mackenzie, Director, British Council Myanmar, said: “MyJustice marks a major step forward in one of the country’s key development priorities. Fair application of the rule of law depends on trust between the individuals, communities and institutions that deliver justice. The British Council’s purpose has always been to build trust, and we are excited to be working with our wider community partners in this vital area of reform.”

The programme’s community-driven and locally-led approach will empower communities to deliver appropriate solutions to the justice challenges they face. By building on existing formal and informal structures and practices (community mediation, paralegal services, and policy dialogue forums), MyJustice will aim to develop a lasting impact on the way in which disputes are resolved and justice is delivered in Myanmar, the statement said.

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