People's Perspective on Access to Justice Survey in Four Provinces of Lao PDR
Promoting good governance and the rule of law lies at the centre of Lao PDR’s ambitious development plans to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and to graduate from the ranks of Least Developed Country status by 2020. Equitable and sustainable growth can only be attained if the rights of ordinary citizens and poor and disadvantaged groups in particular, are actively ensured and protected. Access to justice is a key pillar in this regard.
The Access to Justice Survey, the first of its kind, attempts to provide policymakers, the legal system, civil society and development partners with a snapshot of the current capabilities of the Lao people to take full advantage of their rights. In particular, the survey is concerned with people’s ability to seek and obtain remedies for grievances that constrain the fulfillment of those rights, including family conflicts, violence, theft, land disputes, debt and other issues.
To date, relatively little concrete and empirical data has been compiled on the perception of Lao citizens with regard to their access to justice. It was in response to this situation that the Lao Bar Association, together with the Ministry of Justice and UNDP, commissioned the survey.