Press Release 2012
USAID supports Lao Judicial System
August 30, 2012
With Laos on the verge of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), it is critically important that members of the legal profession understand the impact new trade agreements will have on civil and judicial procedures.
To help create broader understanding of these issues, the Supreme People’s Court held a day-long workshop on “The Impact of Trade Agreements on Civil Procedure in Lao PDR” at the Vansana Hotel on Aug. 29. The Workshop was supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its LUNA Lao economic development program, headed by Mr. Steve Parker.
The opening remarks for the workshop were provided by Mr. Somboun Sonthikoumman, Vice-President of the Supreme People’s Court. Ms. Angela Dickey, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, provide remarks on the U.S. side.
Ms. Dickey said she was proud the U.S. government could play a substantial role in supporting the development of the Lao legal sector at this crucial time.
“Around the world, the U.S. government supports the development of a strong rule of law and the strengthening of an independent judiciary. We applaud the efforts of Steve Parker and his LUNA Lao team to develop this relationship with the Supreme People's Court and the rest of the judicial sector.”
Presentations during the workshop covered such topics as: an overview of how the judicial sector is affected by the WTO and U.S.-Lao bilateral trade agreement; a look at new authority given to judges in intellectual property cases; an examination of new guidelines for commercial dispute resolution; and much more.
The workshop ended with a general discussion on strengthening the capacity of the judicial sector to implement new legal requirements mandated by trade agreements.