Sixty five mangmis from the seven north-western dzongkhags of Thimphu, Gasa, Wangdue , Punakha, Chukha, Haa and Paro attended the first Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consultation and training which started on February 25 and ended yesterday in Punakha.
The training was conducted by the Bhutan National legal Institute (BNLI) under the aegis of The Royal Law Project in collaboration with the Home Ministry.
“The main aim of conducting such training courses is to revitalize and institutionalize the age-old practices of alternative dispute resolution, known as Nangkha Nadrik”, said the Director for BNLI, Pema Wangchuk.
The training will be imparted to all the mangmis of 205 gewogs in the country.
All the gewogs are divided into three regions and the mangmis will be trained within two months from now.
“The same training will be conducted at Gelephu for the South and Central Dzongkhags, and in Samdrupjongkhar or Mongar for the Eastern Dzongkhags”, said Pema Wangchuk.
Five judiciary personnel including the Director of BNLI gave law lessons to the participants.
Lobzang Gyembo,a Mangmi from Chang gewog said that the course helped him understand laws which he didn’t earlier.
“We can now help in settling down small disputes in our villages, if people come forward seeking help”, he said.
Similarly, Tshering Dendup,a mangmi from Goen Shari in Punakha, says that he hopes there will be more justice now in rural areas.
Nangkha Nandrik has been practiced in the country for many years.
However, according to some officials from BNLI, it was felt that the process of ADR was in need of revitalization- first through an understanding of existing practices and local needs.
According to the Director, this exercise is intended to enable better access to justice by taking legal recourses to the door steps of the people starting at the grassroot level.
Sponsors included the Swiss Agency for Development Corporation, Australian Development Corporation, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the government.