Lawyers, Law and Laos
...A Note from Denny Hamilton
In Vientiane in October 2013 I had the good fortune to work with an extraordinary co-facilitator, Hèléne Diribarne-Somers, who is a civil court judge in Pau, France. We were both working with a French NGO called Avocats sans Frontieres (ASF) e.g. Lawyers without Borders and the Lao Bar Association--to conduct a “Training of Trainers” course.
Beginning in the second week of November and continuing for three weeks, the eight Laotian lawyers (six men and two women) for whom we conducted a Training of Trainers, were to conduct three courses to prospective new lawyers in Laos. They worked with six different French lawyers from ASF and were to used training skills gained through practice in our course. We focused first on giving and receiving interpersonal feedback, which I knew from years in Thailand was not a cultural norm, but which is essential for improving as a trainer. Then we worked on presentations, designing and conducting role plays and simulations, a range of case method approaches, and facilitation of small group discussions. They were to apply these skills in courses on the “Role of a Lawyer,” “The Elements of a Fair Trial,” and “ International Jurisprudence.” I only wish I could have been fly on the wall in the rooms where these course were held; however based on the TOT we did, I am confident that they had the capacity to create a positive and interesting learning environment for their students.