Training participants with Her Royal Highness Gyelsem (Princess) Sonam Dechan Wangchuck


Bench Clerks from the Courts across the country are taking part in a training on the “Interpretation of Laws” in Paro. The two-day training opened today. It is organized by the Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI) in partnership with UNDP. 

The President of BNLI, Her Royal Highness Gyelsem Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, graced the opening. Under the wise and dynamic leadership of Her Royal Highness, BNLI serves as the training arm of the judiciary, providing relevant short-term courses to the judicial personnel.

“Bench Clerks are the backbone of the Judiciary,” says BNLI. “They work closely with the Judges and are involved in every decision made by courts. Building their capacity in the interpretation of laws and statutes is crucial for effective justice delivery and enhancing public trust and confidence in the Judiciary.”

The training will equip the participants with both theoretical knowledge and practical methods to interpret laws and statutes. They will be guided through the three traditional rules of interpretation. The skills will help build their competence and enable them to make sound and prudent decisions.  

From left to right: Chief Justice Lyonpo Tshering Wangchuk, Her Royal Highness Gyelsem Sonam Dechan Wangchuck, UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Azusa Kubota


UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Azusa Kubota commended the work of the BNLI in ensuring continuing legal education and capacity building of the Judiciary. Strengthening of the legal sector and enhancing access to justice, she said, has always been and will continue to remain at the core of UNDP’s work in Bhutan. “I would like reaffirm UNDP’s unequivocal commitment to supporting the justice institutions in making the delivery of justice more effective, accountable and inclusive,” she added.

UNDP’s partnership with BNLI goes back to its inception. Some of the highlights of the partnership include a strategy paper on the establishment of the BNLI in 2010, followed by short courses on the contemporary legal development for judges and lawyers, a symposium on legal aid, a baseline assessment, a feasibility study on the establishment of the Bar Association, and awareness raising activities around the Human Rights day with schools and the media. 

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