In Mai Ja Yang, a small town in the mountainous ethnic Kachin State, near the China-Burma border, the Federal Law Academy (FLA) will be founded by the Legal Aid Network (LAN). The following law professors who are members of the International Academic Board of LAN, in addition to its founder, will contribute as members of the Academic Board of the FLA: 1. David Fisher, Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, Stockholm University, Sweden. 2. Dr. Suzannah Linton, Professor and Chair of International Law, Bangor University, UK. 3. Dr. Venkat Iyer, Law Commissioner and Barrister, Northern Ireland, UK. 4. Simon Young, Professor of Law and Barrister, Faculty of Law, the University of Hong Kong. 5. U Aung Htoo, Human Rights Lawyer and Founder of the Legal Aid Network. The FLA will provide a two-year course leading to a Diploma in Law. For the first year, 60 students will be granted admission and an opening ceremony will be held on June 26, 2014, the day on which a courageous and undisputed student leader Salai Tin Maung Oo, who was a ῝Chin” national, was executed by the then ruling military regime, 38 years ago, by applying its judicial system, which has been totally subservient to the executive.
The various ethnic nationalities and their constituent units, which existed as independent entities in history, unitedly founded Burma, also known now as Myanmar, since its independence from the British in 1948. Since then, the country has been plagued by civil war given, inter alia, the lack of equal rights and self-determination of the ethnic nationalities, resulting in serious human rights violations to this day. In terms of population, the Myanmar nationality forms the majority whereas non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities constitute a minority. Between1948-1962, the development of the country took place in the lowland – mainly inhabited by the Myanmar nationality – leaving behind the mountainous areas where non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities have been residing for hundreds of years. Such uneven development happened under the rule of the democratic regimes, which were mainly overwhelmed by the Myanmar leaders, under the 1947 Constitution. The non-Myanmar ethnic leaders deduced from these experiences that, due to lack of sufficient knowledge of the constitution and other laws, they were hoodwinked by the Myanmar leaders. Before and after the independence of Burma, the main university, where law subjects could be studied, was located only in the capital of the country, Rangoon (currently, known as Yangon), to which the non-Myanmar ethnic youths had only rare access; as such, legal education was primarily enjoyed by the Myanmar youths. In the aftermath of the military coup of 1962, all people in Burma have suffered a lot. However, when the Myanmar nationality is contrasted with the non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities, the situation of the latter has been much worse than the former over the past five decades. Even under the current so-called democratic transition which commenced in 2011, a form of legal education – which would facilitate resolving underlying issues on civil war, advancing human rights and the Rule of Law, and leading to development of all ethnic nationalities – has remained unaddressed. At present, there exists no qualified law school in ethnic states. In terms of geography, which is linked to the rights of the ethnic nationalities, the dealings of the international legal and human rights community have been uneven given that almost all of their major activities which seek to create an educational environment are currently conducted in the lowland – mainly in big cities such as Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Daw, etc. – whilst marginalizing the mountainous areas where uneducated non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities reside. Founding the Federal Law Academy is a modest attempt to address this gap.
To nurture and advance the ethnic youths so that they become legal practitioners who will implement the following objectives: (1) Laying down the Rule of Law foundation for the emergence of an independent, just, developed, and peaceful Federal Union with the underpinning of human rights; (2) Participating in the process of drafting, making, and enforcing the Federal Constitution, organic laws and other laws, which will reflect the will of the various ethnic nationalities; and (3) Facilitating the transformation of the national legal framework on the basis of international law, human rights laws, humanitarian law, and equal rights and self-determination of all ethnic nationalities in order that benefits of the constituent units of the Federal Union as well as of people who have been residing in each respective unit are protected.
The following subjects, inter alia, will be covered: The Rule of Law and Jurisprudence Human rights Law Introduction to International law International Humanitarian law Introduction to International Criminal Law International Criminal Court The United Nations, its Treaty Bodies and the UPR Constitutional Law Law on Basic Freedoms and Writs Independence of Judiciary Procedural Justice and Fair Trial Law of Constituent Units Law on State Institutions Land Law Labor Law Federalism Law on Civil Society Election Law Customary Law Environmental Law Foreign Investment Law Criminal Law Civil Law Evidence Act
1. Minimum Qualification: Passed the high school final examination Copy of the original certificate shall be submitted. 2. Having Ethnic Nationality (Non-Myanmar or Myanmar) 3. Gender – male or female 4. Age – under 25 5. Medical check: A medical certificate issued by the township surgeon shall be submitted. 6. Residence: Priority will be provided to the applicants who are currently living within the territory of the ethnic states. Operation of the Academy 1. Lecturers and Professors: Under the guidance of the Academic Board mentioned above, the lecturers and the assistant lecturers – the sole purveyors of legal education per se - will teach courses. In addition, some experienced lawyers and academics will also be invited to be guest speakers. Lawyers working with the Legal Aid Network will be tutors. 2. Curriculum: The FLA will have its own mandatory curriculum which will be conducive to dealing with the negative aspects of globalization, whilst fostering its positive aspects, and attending to the changing political landscape of Burma/Myanmar with the underpinning of the Rule of Law. 3. Theory and Practice: Apart from a participatory method to foster students’ critical thinking, the FLA will design teaching techniques to enable students to find creative legal solutions to societal issues, while heeding the promotion and protection of human rights. A combination of theory and practice will be at the core of our teaching. 4. Admission of students: Although the Myanmar nationality is not excluded from our law school, the students who belong to non-Myanmar ethnic nationalities will constitute the great majority. 5. Gender Sensitivity: In order to promote the role of women in current and future society, at least one-third of a total number of students should be females. 6. English Language Skills: Priority will be given to applicants who are relatively skillful in English. Entrance examinations – written, oral or both - will be held. 7. Classrooms: (A) and (B) - Two large classrooms exist on the ground floor of the three-storey main building. 8. Main Hall: To the right of the classrooms is the main hall where public meetings and gatherings can be held. 9. Reading rooms: Quiet reading rooms and computer rooms can be found on the first floor of the main building. 10. Students will stay in the three-storey dormitory, which is separately located at the left side of the law school courtyard. 11. Dining hall: Next to the dormitory is the dining hall, which is attached with a special room wherein distinguished guests can be hosted. 12. Meals: Students will enjoy meals, prepared by local chefs, in the dining hall. 13. Student Lounge: Behind the law school, there is another courtyard in which the Student Lounge and the Stadium can be found. 14. Basketball Court: Located in front of the dormitory. 15. Health: The FLA will take responsibility for basic health care. Semester: Two semesters per year First semester – June 26 to November 30, 2015 Second Semester – January 5 to May 20, 2016 Transportation: Enrolled students are responsible for reaching the FLA in time. However, contact persons of the FLA will facilitate their trips. Students will be accepted commencing June 15, ten days before the opening ceremony. Application Deadline: The application shall be submitted by May 31, 2015 either by sending it to the office of the LAN in Mai Ja Yang, Kachin State in person or to the following physical email address of the contact person of LAN in addition to the email address of LAN (firstname.lastname@example.org). Contact Persons (1) Nang Myint Myint Aye: Tel:(86)1 596 928 0409 E.mail: email@example.com Please download Student Application Form here. Download FLA Job Opportunity here.