The Inter-University Cooperation Project organized its 6th Law Winter School from December 12th to 14th, 2023, at the Crown Plaza, Vientiane Capital, Laos. Twenty candidates were invited based on their interest in improving their legal knowledge for an intensive 3-day seminar. The 6th Law Winter School included Fourteen law lecturers from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, two lecturers from National Institute of Justice and four practitioners (two judges and two prosecutors).
The Law Winter School was dedicated to the subject of “the Role of Transparency in a Rule of Law State”. The Winter School dealt with the interdependence between good governance and rule of law in relation to the principle of publicity and access to justice, the protection of Transparency by the 3 main branches of the state and good practices of good governance in relation to the international anti-corruption framework. This Winter School was taught in English by Prof. Stefan Braum (University of Luxembourg), Laura AADE (PhD, Uni.lu), Francesca FINELLI, (PhD, Uni.lu), Anna MACHURA (PhD, Uni. lu) and Paulina BASCHTON (Liaison Officer of the Inter-University Cooperation (Project in Laos).
Prior to the winter school participants followed a 1 day research methodology seminar to equip the them with relevant legal research skills which could be helpful for their research. Participants learned from examples and experiences from the PhD’s from the University of Luxembourg how to state research problems, find suitable research questions, how to find and use relevant databases, and methods of citation. During the presentations, the participants raised a lot of questions regarding their own research and discussed legal issue in Laos in related to the PhD’s field of expertise.
The first day of the Law winter school, started with opening remarks by the project leader Prof. Stefan Braum and the Dean of the FLP, Assoc. Prof. Viengvilay Thiengchanhxay. The topics presented and discussed during the winter law school centred around the topic of “Interdependences between Good Governance and Rule of law Principles”. On the first day the presentations were the dedicated to the principle of publicity presented by Laura Aade, a presentation by Francesca Finelli on the principle to access to justice and a presentation by Anna Machura-Urbaniak on the “protection of transparency by means of law enforcement by the executive branch”. Participants actively discussed the definition of transparency, the limits of transparency in the context of access to justice, the practices in Laos, and the importance of balancing transparency and privacy.
Day 2 of the Law winter law school was dedicated to the principles of transparency for the Judiciary and Legislative branch presented by Francesca Finelli and Laura Aade. The participants were assigned hypothetical cases involving the application of the principle of transparency, many scenarios were given by the PhD to equip participants with concrete examples. Prof. Braum showed the participants a matrix for transparency principles for participants to deepen their understanding and to understand the application of these principles for each state actor.
Day 3 was dedicated to “good practice and good government in anti-corruption framework” presented by Anna Machura-Urbaniak. Participants held lively discussions with regards to corruption issues on a global and national scale, they also discussed how they, as legal academics and practitioners, can address this sensitive yet complex topic and help Laos in its move toward a rule of law state. The discussions involved identifying mechanisms used in Luxembourg and sharing experiences in relation to the progress the Lao government has already made in this regard. This Law Winter School ended with a round-table reflection, which allowed participants to discuss how to enhance the teaching and research of the principles of transparency.
All participants showed enthusiasm and motivation during the event and energetically interacted with the guest speakers and each other. Participants learned to understand the importance of transparency in a rule of law state. All participants were provided with learning materials to support and strengthen their knowledge.