26 SEP 2021
10.00 – 12.00
Keep the Law in Your Hands: Reintroducing LannPya App for Community Members and Legal Professionals in Myanmar
Lann Pya is an informational resource app that seeks to promote public understanding of the law and basic rights in Myanmar. In 2020, the Lann Pya was acquired by a legal non-profit organization to relaunch its content. [The name of the organization is withheld to ensure its safety.] The information in Lann Pya is accurate and updated to the end of May 2021. The app has two audiences: members of the public and those seeking accessible information about the law and; lawyers and those with a technical interest in the law. The App has been relaunched based on the argument that despite changes in the country, the law remains important to people. This argument is based on the following reasoning: (1) It is better to be defended in line with the law, even if it has no effect; (2) Giving up on the law only helps the powerful; and (3) It is better to understand the law, and know when it is broken, than to be ignorant of both things; and (4) Everyday decisions and agreements are based on a system of right and wrong that starts with the law.
The App is intended as a general guide only as Lann Pya is limited by referencing the laws, while refraining from sharing opinions on the application of the law. Because of this, the App includes mentions to the 2008 Constitution and other laws and amendments. The inclusion of these laws and amendments in the App do not reflect an opinion in relation to the legitimacy of any contested law referenced in the App. The App does not provide legal advice and it is not a substitute for a qualified lawyer.
This presentation uses the app as an example of a tool that has been indicated by justice practitioners and pro bono lawyers in all countries facing a tightening of the space for civil society and access to justice activities. The session then asks the audience: Is access to information about the law useful in a context like Myanmar where law is not equated with justice nor order with the discipline of a people satisfied that justice has been done? In this session we will also solicit feedback and lessons learned from participants who have implemented online legal education efforts in less than favorable political environments.