Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law

Semester: 2016 Spring

Students: Mushfiqur Chowdhury & Drew Keneally

When it opens its doors in 2017, the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law (JSW Law) will be Bhutan’s first law school.

For centuries, most disputes in the country have been resolved by traditional dispute resolvers (often referred to as “mediators”). The relatively recent emergence of formal judicial structures is expected to complement, rather than supplant, these traditional modes of dispute resolution.

Future JSW Law graduates will need to understand how to interact with the country’s network of traditional dispute resolvers and the school’s curriculum will include substantial and mandatory education in ADR, consensus-building, and dispute systems design. To that end, JSW Law intends to undertake a comprehensive legal needs assessment of the entire country of Bhutan. As part of this initiative, the school invited HNMCP to interview relevant stakeholders and develop a survey of traditional dispute resolvers.  The HNMCP team will pilot the survey in one area of Bhutan before JSW Law engages in a larger scale survey.

Activities & Deliverables

  • Preparatory interviews with stakeholders in Bhutan and experts on Bhutan;
  • Development and field-testing of a survey designed to capture the perceived strengths and challenges encountered by traditional dispute resolvers engaging in a variety of dispute resolution practices;
  • Present initial findings to JSW Law and other stakeholders and share recommendations for deploying a wider scale survey.

Field Visit

HNMCP Clinic Field Trip to Bhutan  p1000572

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