LAOS - Promoting Research in Support of the Rule of LawFirst-ever National Legal Research Forum takes place at the Faculty of Law and Political Science
The National Legal Research Forum, organised by the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLP) with the support of Project LAO/031, took place on the 19th December in Vientiane with the aim of creating a platform for the discussion of legal issues and for the free exchange of ideas among academics and researchers.
In the context of Lao PDR’s ambition to implement its Legal Sector Master Plan (LSMP) and 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), which would see the country graduate from Least Development Country (LDC) status and become a state fully governed by the rule of law by 2020, legal research and expertise continue to play an important role in shaping legislation and in informing strategic decisions.
For these reasons, the National Legal Research Forum, which is the first of its kind, was a welcome and timely event. Participants included students, teachers, researchers, and other professionals from institutions encompassing the National University of Laos (NuOL), the Faculty of Law and Administration (FLA) of Champasak University, the National Institute of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the University of Luxembourg.
The opening speeches on the Research Policy of the NuOL and the Relevancy of Research in the Promotion of the Rule of Law were given by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Somchanh Bounphanmy, Vice President of NuOL, and Mr. Reginald Pastrana, CTA of LAO/031, respectively. Over the course of the day, 18 researchers presented on various topics, including the village settlement resolution dispute, the death penalty, judgments on road accidents, ASEAN-EU cooperation on human rights concerns, and many others.
With the presentation and the initiation of discussions on such pertinent topics for Lao society, the main objective of the forum was to highlight legal issues and the suitability of legislation, which can act as a feedback mechanism for the Lao government and its law drafters. Moreover, the forum allowed FLP and NuOL members to present the results of their recent studies and will encourage other scholars to carry out new research.
Nine exhibition stands were also set up, displaying the manuals and materials from Project LAO/031, the Institute for Legal Support and Technical Assistance (ILSTA), the Clinical Legal Education (CLE), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and others. All these initiatives have contributed towards improving research capacity and fostering a research environment at the faculty. Notwithstanding, no one is resting on their laurels; the objective for next year’s edition is to expand and render it international by inviting guest lecturers from abroad.
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