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that I learned about the important work that the BNLI is doing in legal education
and training for mediators and judges, and I was delighted when
Lobzang Rinzin Yargay, Director General of BNLI, invited me to deliver a
workshop on judicial ethics in July 2019. This one-day workshop was
opened by BNLI’s president, Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Dechen
Wangchuck, and attended by a number of judges and court registrars from
across the country. I designed this workshop in collaboration with JSW Law
lecturer Kesang Wangmo, who is conducting fascinating research on Buddhist
In addition to writing an academic paper on the legal profession in
Bhutan, I am also working on a report for the BNLI and the relatively new
Bar Council on the need and design for a continuing legal education program
in Bhutan. To understand the needs of legal professionals in Bhutan
better, I met with lawyers and judges from four different districts in Bhutan.
I am grateful to several people at JSW Law, BNLI and the Bar Council of
Bhutan who made this research possible.
My teaching and research in Bhutan have opened up new questions and
interests for me (some preliminary thoughts can be found here: <capiblog.
ca/2018/08/24/pooja-parmar-blog-1-moving-texts/>). Dean Sangay Dorjee
and Vice Dean Michael Peil, along with every single faculty and staff member
I met at JSW Law, have created a vibrant community committed to
advancing legal education in Bhutan. During my time there, it became obvious
to me that it is a community that shares many of UVic Law’s commitments.
I am very excited about the meaningful and productive col-
laborations that will be made possible by our new relationship with JSW
Law in the form of the recently signed memorandum of understanding.
These existing and new relationships between UVic Law and law schools in
Asia are highlighting our strengths in Asia-Pacific law and transnational
governance, environmental law and experiential education. My involvement
in the workshop on “Public Law, Legal Orders and Governance” began
an examination of what Bhutan’s constitutional commitment to gross
national happiness could mean for approaches to environmental governance
in the West. Working with Professor Tshering Dolkar of JSW Law, we
are examining how the overarching principles of wellness are expressed
through structures of Bhutanese law and policy, which include an almost
constitutional commitment to carbon negativity due to Article 5.3, which
requires the maintenance of a minimum of sixty per cent tree cover in the
country. These ecological and governance standards, mediated through the
Gross National Happiness Commission and National Environment Com-