Doughty Street Chambers members act as Consultants to UNICEF Myanmar

Doughty Street Chambers barristers, associate tenants and academics are acting as Consultants to UNICEF Myanmar and providing capacity building training to local lawyers and Unicef officers on international child rights law, case management and strategic litigation for children in conflict with the law in Myanmar.

DSC started work with Myanmar lawyers and Unicef in June 2021. Ultimately, they seek to provide legal guidance, support and assistance to UNICEF Myanmar in the implementation of a litigation strategy in respect of children in conflict with the law in that country.

The U.K. legal team is made up of Doughty Street barristers, associate tenants and academic experts, with expertise in international human rights law, child rights and criminal law. The team is led by Kirsty Brimelow QC and comprises Susie Alegre, Dr. Oliver Lewis, Catherine Meredith, Professor Rachel Murray, Professor Aoife Nolan, Zimran Samuel MBE and Maryam Mir. They are  focused on children in the context of litigation and on a broad range of criminal, human rights and migration related cases, often at the cutting edge of the law. All of them have worked on devising and conducting strategic litigation both in the UK and internationally. Members of the Doughty Street Chambers Children’s Rights Group play a key part of the team

So far, the team has carried out a fact finding mission and provided a detailed report in order to fully inform the subsequent training. It has also developed training materials on international and regional human rights standards and how these might be deployed by lawyers in the Myanmar context.  DSC has also organised a series of training sessions with lawyers based in Myanmar who work on behalf of children. These have focused both on the normative standards to be used in strategic litigation as well as scoping, designing and operationalising strategic litigation.

The training reached over 100 lawyers based across Myanmar and the DSC materials reportedly are a helpful reference and support both in daily litigation and as a tool in identifying  strategic litigation on the rights of children in conflict with the law in Myanmar.

The project originally was envisaged as one that physically would be deployed within Myanmar. However, both the coup in Myanmar and then “lockdown” during the pandemic meant that the DSC team and Unicef were required to be creative in delivering training remotely. To date, despite the challenges faced by Unicef and lawyers in Myanmar, this has been successful.

The DSC team continues to mentor lawyers working on child-related cases in Myanmar as they proceed to implement the training.