Legal Reforms and Access to Justice

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    Closing ceremony of Legal Education Project Photo: Swedish Embassy

Sweden supported a series of projects to support legal reforms and access to justice over a period of almost 20 years (1991-2009). Sweden was the first donor to engage in this sensitive sector made possible by the special relationship with the vietnamese government.

Activities to strengthen the rule of law broadly aimed to help vietnam develop reliable legal and administrative systems, and through this to create favourable conditions for substantial international investment and growth in the domestic economy.

By the early 2000s, there was a visible shift in Sweden’s emphasis from the making of laws and strengthening of administrative systems to access to justice, with a focus on democracy
and human rights.

Sweden’s work on legal education has been positively assessed for its impact. Several, now highly respected, lawyers, were trained at Swedish universities. Further, Sweden directly assisted the drafting of a law guiding the operation of lawyers, and facilitated together with Denmark the establishment of a Bar Federation. These initiatives provided oversight of the legal profession as well as enhanced capacity of working lawyers. Sweden’s gender equity
focus also meant that many female officials benefited from these legal education initiatives.