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Laos gov’t moves towards integrating state and customary legal practices

来源:建广律师事务所     2012-12-28
字号:T|T

            VIENTIANE, Dec. 4 — The Lao Ministry of Justice released a report on Tuesday into customary justice

 practices among the country's 49 ethnic groups, with a view to incorporating their traditional practices into

 the overall legal system.

            The report, titled 'Customary Law and Practice in Lao PDR', was developed with the support 

of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Incorporating customary practices is considered a key 

requirement in the Lao government's policy of establishing the country as a rule of law state by 2020.

             Laos, one of South East Asia's least developed nations, is highly ethnically diverse. The variety of

 traditional legal practices uncovered in the report reflects this diversity.

             The report covers many areas of customary law including, power and decision making structures, sources

, jurisdiction, procedure, remedies, sanction and appeals. The report will be used to develop a national strategy on

 customary law, to draft guidelines for combining state and customary law and to develop a national database on 

customary law.

             Speaking at Tuesday's launch Lao Minister of Justice Chaleune Yiapaoher said, “We will be using the

 data and information from the report when drafting and revising laws. In addition, the report will also be used as 

a reference for promoting equality and access to justice of all in compliance with the international human rights 

standards to which Lao PDR has ratified.”

             UNDP Resident Representative to Laos Minh Pham noted that despite modernization in Laos, customary

 law practices continue to play an important role in many peoples' lives, “There is a need to develop a national

 customary law strategy so that we can approach the informal justice system in a more systematic way and strike

 a good balance in the use of informal and formal justice systems.”