Lawyers and civil society groups have had little interaction in Burma until very recently. Civil society organisations have focused attention on basic service delivery or, at best, awareness raising of human rights issues. Likewise, few lawyers were active in advocacy or capacity building work, and the social and political space for productive collaboration between these groups was limited.
In Capacity Building for Rule of Law Promotion, experienced Yangon-based lawyers work with lawyers and civil society organisations in six provincial locations across Burma to support the development of a legal-civil society network with the knowledge and expertise necessary to improve the quality and success of civil society interventions.
In each location, local legal priorities are pursued by coalitions of civil society and legal practitioners, with training and support from a core team based in Yangon. Issues tackled have included land ownership disputes, access to resources, and impacts of extractive industry. Sub-grants are available and are being used for research and data gathering, and legal capacity building in areas beyond project locations.