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Friday, July 19, 2024

Volunteer Lawyers in Laos Help Elderly Woman Handle Land Dispute Case

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A group of volunteer lawyers has assisted an elderly woman in overturning a judgment that saw her daughters claim her land.

77-year-old Bouasuay Phomsavath, a resident of Vientiane’s Chanthabouly District, says that her two daughters successfully mortgaged a property in Vang Vieng belonging to her by forging her signature without her knowledge. 

According to a video statement released by Mrs. Bouasuay, she had allowed her two daughters to live temporarily on her land in Vang Vieng, which she had purchased with her husband in 1980.

Mrs. Bouasuay made the online plea after the Central Region People’s Court in Vientiane Capital ruled in her daughters’ favor in 2021.

Touched by the story, a group of lawyers from Phomsoupha and Son Law decided to take up the case pro bono.

“As lawyers and members of the Lao Bar Association, we felt it was our responsibility to take up this case. We found the judgment from the Central Region People’s Court to have been unfair to her,” a representative from the Phomsoupha and Son Law, who asked not to be named, told the Laotian Times.

Two documents containing Mrs. Bouasuay’s signature and fingerprints had been presented to the court as evidence, according to a representative from Phomsoupha and Son Law. However, while the elderly woman may have signed the documents, the law firm is adamant that, being illiterate, she was unlikely to have been aware of its contents.

With the assistance of Phomsoupha and Son Law, Mrs. Bouasuay was able to take her appeal to the People’s Supreme Court in Vientiane Capital, where the original judgment was overturned.

“In addition to this assistance, we wanted to show the important role played by lawyers in our justice system,” said the law firm representative. 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Bouasuay has expressed her hope that she will finally receive justice in a retrial.

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