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Justice Base

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Justice Base is a UK charity working to promote the rule of law & human rights in transitional and post-conflict societies. We have been working in Myanmar (Burma) since 2012 in response to the political reforms and ongoing transition to democracy.  We seek to meet our aims by supporting nationally-owned rule of law initiatives & by building the capacity of Myanmar lawyers. 

Justice Base was founded by international human rights lawyers, Melissa Pack & Matthew Bugher, and political expert Myat Ko Ko.  We now have about 12 lawyers and experts working in Yangon to deliver our projects.

We are seeking to raise £5000 as unrestricted funds.  Having such funds is important to us as it gives us flexibility to deal with unexpected expenditure which cannot be met from funds restricted to specific projects.  For example, we are often asked by civil society organisations to provide training or other legal assistance.  If this does not fall within our existing projects we are unable to help with out seeking new funding - a lengthy & uncertain process.  We also need unrestricted funds to build up a contingency fund to deal with emergencies and help meet certain core organisational costs.

Courtroom Watch: from 2013 to 2016 Justice Base lawyers observed 155 cases and 1,158 criminal court hearings in Myanmar’s courts to assess the compliance with international and domestic fair trial standards.  On 2 October 2017 we published our report “Monitoring in Myanmar: An Analysis of Myanmar’s Compliance with Fair Trial Rights” which found that the courts were failing to comply with a number of fair trial rights.  We are engaging with the Office of the Union Supreme Court on the report’s recommendations to implement a comprehensive reform programme.

Access to Courts: on 8 June 2017 Justice Base published a report “Behind Closed Doors: Obstacles and Opportunities for Public Access to Myanmar’s Courts,” detailing the findings of four Justice Base researchers who attempted to access court premises and courtrooms in Yangon Region.  They faced a number of barriers which breached the constitutional right for the public to attend court hearings.

Justice Base is also working on anti-discrimination training, constitutional federalism, citizenship, hate speech, legislative analysis workshops & an exchange with Chinese lawyers.

Charity No: 1153878

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