LAOS - Government approves strategic plan for legal sector
After several strategic planning exercises and thorough consultations with officers of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the five-year strategic plan (2021-2025) was finally approved by the ministry. The MoJ is now disseminating this strategic plan so that it can be carried out effectively by the justice ministry at the central, provincial and district levels.
Mr. Ketsana Phommachanh, DG of the Department of International Cooperation (right) and Mr. Khamphone Sipaseuth, Chief of Cabinet chaired the strategic planning exercise on 28 October 2019, © LuxDev
It must be restated that the Lao PDR is following the Legal Sector Master Plan (LSMP) which was officially adopted by the government on 11 September 2009 and which spells out the framework to develop and capacitate legal sector institutions as a foundation for the Rule of Law. The plan is supposed to end this year.
Mr Xaysi Santivong Minister of Justice chaired the disseminations of the new strategic plan of the MoJ with several senior officials, © LuxDev
Last year, the Support programme for legal teaching and training and to the promotion of the rule of law concept in Laos, LAO/031, extensively supported the MoJ to conduct strategic planning exercises: from developing the MoJ’s vision and mission statements, formulating its ethical standards, and identifying its strategic goals and objectives. To identify goals and objectives, the MoJ, through the Project, undertook several SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses, including the proper establishment of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) targets.
Group working at the technical workshop for MoJ staff on strategic planning exercises, © LuxDev
The MoJ is now widely and publicly disseminating this five-year (2021-2025) strategic plan which envisions the following goals, objectives and targets:
- to develop and amend at least 50 laws;
- to improve law dissemination networks using various forms and approaches to reflect real contexts;
- to promote legal awareness in society;
- to promote citizen engagement in law dissemination campaigns through television programmes (240 times); through radio programmes (840 times); and to conduct 15 local law dissemination campaigns each year;
- to publish 42,000 copies of legal and justice journals and 30,000 copies of laws;
- to foster and supervise judgement enforcement agencies across the country with the intent to enforce 50% of pending and new judgements, 20% of which should be successful enforcement with completion and file case closure;
- to complete the improvement of court notary work pending in 20 districts in order to meet social demands;
- To settle 80% of the total number of economic disputes, to strive to gradually upscale the Economic Dispute Settlement Center and transform it into a macro Economic Dispute Settlement Agency, to study and issue secondary legislation on economic dispute settlement under the Lao Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI);
- to foster the development of 10 model villages per district to reach the total number of 7,400 villages, and provide legal services through legal aid offices across the country to reach 200,000 users;
- to provide services through village mediation committees across the country in order to reduce the number of disputes to 15,000 cases;
- to provide five (5) sessions of professional trainings to 500 judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal practitioners and law students;
- to provide 45-day trainings to 1,000 local staff to reach the total number of 5,000 staff member in five (5) years;
- to provide law studies to 500 first-degree students yearly to reach the total number of 2,500 students in five (5) years;
- to train 500 high-degree law students yearly to reach the total number of 2,500 students in five (5) years;
- to train 1,000 Master Degree in Law students to reach the total number of 5,000 students in five (5) years; and
- to provide short-term training to 200 staff of the justice sector yearly using the government's budget to come up with 1,000 staff members in five (5) years.
Participants at the technical workshop for MoJ staff on strategic planning exercises, © LuxDev
At this stage, the strategic plan can guide the MoJ and Project LAO/031 to draft the 2021 Annual Operational Plan, which in turn can inform various development partners on how they can align their support to the legal sector.
The Support programme for legal teaching and training and to the promotion of the rule of law concept in Laos, LAO/031, is funded by the Luxembourg Cooperation and implemented by LuxDev.
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