The 21st of February is a very special day for the Bhutanese. It is the birthday of His Majesty the King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. The whole nation comes together to celebrate His Majesty’s birthday, to thank god for giving us a selfless King and a benevolent leader, to pray for his good health and long life, and to commit and dedicate ourselves to the service of the triple gem.
In the coming years, the occasion will be doubly celebrated at the Royal Institute of Law, as it also marks the birthday of Bhutan’s first law school. On February 21, 2015, His Majesty saw fit to grant the Royal Charter establishing the nation’s first law school, thus formally establishing the law school as a body corporate under Bhutanese law.
The Charter was signed by His Majesty the King at 1:06PM in a simple ceremony in the presence of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen and the members of the Review Committee, in the Throne Room, at Tashichhodzong. The Honourable President of the Law School, Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck received the Royal Charter from the Throne, marking the historic and symbolic moment when the first law school in the Kingdom of Bhutan was chartered.
The Charter establishes the law school as an autonomous not-for-profit tertiary educational institution. It sets as the law school’s objectives not only to provide legal education, but also, to facilitate research and to promote cultural enrichment and traditional Bhutanese values. The Charter recognises the importance of the law school in promoting the rule of law to ensure a fair and just society and, ultimately, to the peaceful co-existence, unity, happiness and well-being of the Bhutanese people, and the security and sovereignty of the nation.
The Honourable Chief Justice of Bhutan, Lyonpo Tshering Wangchuk, served as the chairperson of the high level Committee formed to review the draft Charter. The Review Committee ordered for a Dzongkha version of the Royal Charter. With respect to the final product, Justice Wangchuk observed, “this Charter should serve as template for all future Royal Charters.” This is consistent with the RIL Project Office’s mission, not only to found a world-class law school in Bhutan, but also, to set and improve standards in legal and operating processes that may serve as a model for the entire country.