Kathmandu School Of Law (KSL)
in co-operation with Center for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd)

 

Admission Opened in One Year Interdisciplinary M. A. Program in Human Rights
and Conflict and International Humanitarian Laws

KSL announces admission- open  in one year interdisciplinary M.A program in Human Rights and Conflict and International Humanitarian Laws. Interested students holding Masters' Degree in any discipline are eligible to apply for the program. Applicants can submit the application form by third week of March 06.  For more information <click here>

 

News

       

Special Training for Network's Leading Lawyers on Legal Aid Management and Operation

CeLRRd organized a six days residential Special Training for Network's Leading Lawyers on Legal Aid Management and Operation from 11 March 2006 at Conference Hall in Kathmandu School of Law. The training primarily aimed to strengthen the capacity building of legal aid lawyers and provide them an extensive knowledge on planning, monitoring, evaluation and continuous research of legal aid issues for the effective management and operation of the National Legal Aid Network (NaLAN). Twenty leading Lawyers of the Network from different regions of the country including members of various Bar Units, who are associated directly or indirectly with the NaLAN participated in the training. Mr. Fergus Kerrigan and Ms. Maria Løkke Rasmussen from Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) acted as international resource persons for the program. The extensive training discussed and developed the Legal Aid Network Management and Operation Guidelines to implement the Network activities particularly in different stages of representation viz. pre- trial, trial and post-trial.

At the initial session of the program, Mrs. Geeta Pathak Sangroula, Coordinator of Prisoners' Legal Aid (PLA) Project highlighted the objectives of the training stating it as being the first of such kind for legal aid management and operation. She emphasized on the urgent need of institutionalizing the National Legal Aid Network, which was formed by the National Legal Aid Conference of Nagarkot in 2003 in order to sustain and institutionalize the legal aid program. 'Nagarkot Declaration' adopted by the conference had expressed commitment of each legal aid lawyer to represent the cases voluntarily and perform the role as a social engineer, following the professional ethics for enhancement of the notion of Free Legal Aid.  She added that the Network, in this regard, is not a dependent department of any institution; rather it is an independent and autonomous body and is a common platform for all legal aid lawyers. She further clarified that the program basically is intended to determine the issue of network such as maintaining uniformity in operation and management of network, enhancing the skill of the legal aid lawyer; facilitating the current and future challenges of legal aid lawyers, sharing of the experiences of different countries in the areas of network and to contextualize those country experiences in our national practices of legal aid.

Mr. Bal Krishna Dhakal, General Secretary of NaLAN highlighted on the structure, progress and objective of the NaLAN. He mentioned that the Network has obtained the registration certificate from the District Administration Office and has granted the membership to other legal-aid-providing non-governmental organization offering honorary membership from donor and government institutions. He also said that there are eleven members in executive committee of the Network, who have recently decided to set up Network office in five regions of the country. Following his presentation,  representatives from various legal aid organizations such as LACC, Advocacy Forum, People's Forum, CLRC, AZAR made presentations on the legal aid activities carried out by their organizations.

Kishor Silwal, Director, CeLRRd highlighted on the achievements and challenges of the PLA program since its inception. He said that the primary objective of PLA program is to ensure the concept of fair trial. He focused that legal aid lawyer should not involve in the individual law practice. Sundeep Bista, Senior Advisor, DANIDA/HUGOU expressed thanks for organizing such important program for effective functioning of the Network. He talked about the necessity of legal aid in the present scenario of Nepal. He also talked about the role of Danida/HUGOU in promotion of access to justice in Nepal and said that DANIDA is thinking about starting initiatives in this sector. At the end of the session Rita Mainali, member of the Executive Committee of CeLRRd expressed vote of thanks for the participants.

The extensive training was focused on various aspects of legal aid and its operation and management through presentations and thorough group exercises. It, importantly, discussed the concept of legal aid as Communitarian Profession, legal aid within the rules of professional responsibility and International standards. Upon discussion on the magnitude of problem faced by Legal Aid Lawyers, the group identified lack of proper co-ordination, less effort to the institutional development of legal aid and lack of effective role of Bar in cases where questions of security is raised as the major reasons for the problems.

Highlighting on the needs and requirements of professional free legal aid program, the program concluded that the strategies should be developed to strengthening of national legal aid network by inclusion of all organizations involved in legal aid. It focused on redefinition of legal aid integrating itself with the social values and development of uniform modality of standards for work identifying awareness rights as people's basic rights. Representation should then be standardized by conducting survey of the need and developing criteria for representing cases.

Lawyers should function in pyramid structure at the ground and wider level. They should provide legal literacy to the people, advice them, provide necessary legal assistance, and then represent their cases in the court. The program also discussed about the four basic elements of management & operation of an organization viz. planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. The group thoroughly discussed on the structure of the network for effecting implementation of its activities. Participants also developed and proposed new reporting format of legal aid cases, standards for quality of representation and monitoring mechanism. The training also discussed on the Strategic Planning for Strengthening Legal Aid such as conducting various levels of training for lawyers, judges and other stakeholders on legal aid. It said that the evaluation process of Legal Aid Cases should concentrate on evaluation of representation both from quantitative and qualitative perspectives. The numbers signify the representation while the quality should be assessed through the skills used and methods applied during the representation. Importantly, the training developed the Legal Aid Network Management and Operation Guidelines for different stages of representation viz. Pre-trial, trial and post trial.

The program concluded with consensus among participants to implement the modality discussed in the program while implementing legal aid at local level. On behalf of the participants Mr. Hari Bahadur Karki, Ms. Tara Khanal , Mr. Balbhadra Khanal and Mr. Ramhari Tripathi expressed their thanks and commitment to represent legal aid cases for the vicitims. Similarly, Mr. Fergus Kerrigan and Ms. Maria Løkke Rasmussen, on behalf of DIHR, expressed their appreciation for organizing such important training for lawyers and expressed their interest to join hands in the similar activities in the days to come. Mrs. Geeta Pathak Sangroula expressed her thanks to participants for their active participation in the program and requested to implement the knowledge in practice gained during the training.  

Associate Prof. Yubaraj Sangroula, Executive Director, KSL; Mrs. Geeta Pathak Sangroula, Program Coordinator, PLA Project;  Mr. H. K. Rana, Coordinator, PNRC, KSL;  Mr. Kishor Silwal, Director, CeLRRd; Mr. Sudeep Gautam, Assistant Professor, KSL were the national resource persons for the program. Assistant Prof. Raj Kumar Aryal, Project Secretary to the project, facilitated the program. The program was organized in support of Danish Embassy of Nepal and DIHR, Denmark.


Participants and Resource Persons of  the Program

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Interaction on civic leadership in Nepal

An interaction of KSL faculty with Consultant Mark Gerzon on civic leadership in Nepal was held on 3rd March 06 at Seminar Hall, Kathmandu School of Law. The interaction explored the importance of civic leadership, the reasons behind the overshadowing of such leadership in Nepal and the mechanisms to reintegrate it.

Recognizing these issues and the vested interest of few people were identified as a challenge to democracy, the discussion further centered on the kind of leadership that binds the collective voices. In Nepalese context the main lacuna is the non-representation of vibrant youth leadership. The lack of youth leadership is solely due to lack of education.

To highlight this issue an example was taken from the SLC examination result of 2005. A total of 38.72% students had passed out nation-wide, among which 90 % were from the expensive private schools affordable only by handful of elite people. The scholarship schemes provided by government for higher education were no doubt received by those from good schooling because of the merit basis system. The present scenario shows that incredibly huge number of those who obtained government scholarship for education abroad never return, and those fortunate people who have been able to obtain education from best institutions in the country do not intend to stay in Nepal The poor and socially marginalized population of Nepal has thus been doubly crushed; firstly, every opportunity is grabbed by the urban elites, and secondly, the country is deserted by this group once their personal benefits are satisfied. 

The participants of the programme were of the view that the system of education has stratified the youth's opportunities: one going to Gulf countries for labor work and the other to developed countries like USA, UK for the study and permanent professional career. In addition to this, government diplomacy has built a culture to export the youths in foreign employment and receive remittance as National income. In this sense, lack of government policy was viewed as major setback to emergence of civic youth’s leadership in Nepal. They identified lack of opportunities, improper education system and government’s wrong policy to address the issue as the root causes seen behind this setback. Other reasons behind the hindrance of youth leadership are lack of civic education. Youths show disinterest in politics by terming it as a ‘dirty game’ is often the factor for wrong socialization process.

As a way out, the program discussed about the mechanisms to reintegrate the civic leadership. They underlined that a common platform for different voices is the urgent need to discuss about the issues. National level skill conference can be the possible way to make people sensitize and provide opportunities. Campaigns should be raised in order to empower those communities who are socially, economically deprived and marginalized and concern should be to provide access to education to such marginalized populace.

With regard to empowering the youths through education, curriculum should be developed in civic education and vocational education.  Civic education must then provide civic accountability. Additionally, participants also highlighted on the role of foreign organizations and donor agencies to promote civic leadership. They should see their interest from nations benefit and help the country to build youth leaders who are not only energetic but also educated. Donors should make the education agenda as the incessant theme of their developmental priorities. The program was participated by senior faculty of KSL and The Asia Foundation/Nepal personnel.


Mark Gerzon (second from right) with the participants

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KSL Student awarded in Essay Competition

Ms. Aruna Joshi of LL.B first year bagged third position in the Essay Competition organized by Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on 10th February 2006 to mark the CIAA Day in the country. The competition was held among bachelor's level students of the various colleges of the valley on the topic, "Role of CIAA in Corruption Control".

 

Feature Article

 

 

 

 

Expatriate Youths: A Setback to Democracy

Nepal has arrived in a very difficult part of the history making process. Its failure to address the present crisis may lead the country to a bloody future. By and large, institutions of government have almost paralyzed. Displacement in rural part of the country is massive, whereas the brain drain from urban elite population is serious too. The latter has been a characteristic feature of the Nepalese society. About 10% elite population of the country enjoys powers as well as resource of the country for its development, and ultimately a large part of it migrates to USA, Europe and other and some other developed countries. If one statically analyzes this trend, he/she can definitely find that most educated people of Nepal who used the national resource for their development do not stay in Nepal. Incredibly huge number of those who obtained government scholarship for education abroad never return, and those fortunate people who have been able to obtain education from best institutions in the country do not intend to stay in Nepal. The poor and socially marginalized population of Nepal has thus been doubly crushed, firstly every opportunity is grabbed by the urban elites and, secondly, the country is deserted by this group once their personal benefits are satisfied. This is the time in the history of Nepal which requires service of most prosperous and intelligent youth population, and unfortunately with the present trend of brain drain situation the nation may see its ordeal time.

The present crisis has been thus intensified by consistent failure of the government and political parties to manage its resources, and failure to subject the small section of the elite population to the 'people's control'. It was also a serious failure of the political parties after 1990. In fact, a significant proportion of the political leadership merged within the elitist population. This is elf evident by "Pajero" scam. To some extent, foreign development assistance organizations are also responsible for this unwanted happening. Many donor agencies and international organizations befriended with 'elitist population' of Nepal in selecting projects, setting priorities and implementing project activities'. Especially, the project funding through civil society did not flow based on capacity, commitment and credibility of the organizations, but it was mainly governed by personal contact of NGO leaders with managers of the donors. Obviously, a significant amount of the development assistance fund raised out of taxes of people in the friendly countries went to the 'personal benefit' of the so-called civil society leaders. Over the years, a group of 'airport residence' population (people who spend time in participating in seminars, conference and meeting and spend large part of their time in airport) emerged in Nepal, whereas persons and organizations seriously engaged in development activities in Nepal had been somehow neglected. Their noble actions of changing the lives of Nepalese’s came under shadow. This phenomenon was largely counterproductive to the institutionalization of the democracy in Nepal. Fundamentally, the foreign development assistance to the education sector was largely neglected. Investment both by the government and foreign donor agencies failed to realize that 'a vibrant new generation needed to emerge to assume leadership in all spheres of governance'.  If the advocacy about democracy, good governance, human rights, gender justice, and empowerment of socially marginalized groups was brought to the schools and colleges, a new generation of leadership would have been emerged by now.. However, the empowerment of the new generation of leadership was a dismal failure of the development assistance. Many organizations spent their money on observation tour of political leaders, judges, bureaucrats and other elites. These observation visits had well utilized by participants to 'do marketing'. Judiciary and other institutions had similar situations. Some judges had over a dozen times opportunity to visit western countries. Even today, this fashion continues.

The democracy has been in crossroad today. Youth leadership in every aspect of development is the only way out. Nepalese society now should give up its pessimistic attitude and start boosting up the innovative and creative youth leadership. The discussion needs to be initiated on 'how this can be done'. The country's future is rested on emergence of a new generation with development vision. KSL has revealed, while doing inclusive democracy discussion for about 600 students from over 60 schools in Kathmandu, that the new generation thinks politics a 'dirty game'. Politics is one of the least preferred issues for consideration. This kind of psyche is detrimental for consolidation of democracy but a boon for authoritarianism. It would be meaningless to talk good governance, human rights and rule of law without a vibrant young generation to defend 'democracy'. If we start this mission now, we may have its result in ten years. The coming ten years in Nepal is thus a time to nurture a new generation in politics, with vision of development, understanding of diplomacy, commitment to human rights and love to people. The civil society should therefore work to this direction. "Please go to schools and colleges to find intelligent, talent and progressive people”, if you still are inclined to work for democracy.

Active discussion and healthy comments are encouraged for the article.  Join in our discussion >>

KSL E-Bulletin  invites feature articles for discussion on the contemporary issues. Selected article will be published in E-Bulletin feature section. We will provide  honorarium of NRS. 500 for the selected article. We, thus,  call upon the research based feature article with word limits (600-1000)

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