Training Lao Lawyers
In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, A4ID lawyers travelled to Laos in December 2007 to deliver training in mediation, negotiation and arbitration to over 30 members of the Lao Bar Association.
Just as comparative legal analysis assists lawyers and legislators in the developed world, so too lawyers from developing countries can benefit from sharing knowledge and expertise. The 5-day course included practical and theoretical components.
In Laos, the 90 lawyers are far-outnumbered by judges (300) and prosecutors (900). They found the alternative dispute resolution training well-suited to their context, given the expensive, uncertain, slow nature of the court system and the Lao culture that values conciliation.
The head of the Education Sub-Committee of the Lao Bar Association, Mr Nuaongthong Vongsa, said:
“In the right situations, the resolution of disputes outside the formal court system has many benefits. These include valuable savings in terms of time and money. Alternative dispute resolution also offers a more conciliatory approach to problem-solving, which allows parties to preserve valuable relationships. A good lawyer should be able to advise their client on when such a resolution is a viable and effective option for them.”