Marie-Laure Tapp

Marie-Laure Tapp YLIP Intern

Photo: Marie-Laure Tapp, centre


I was placed with the Nepal Office of IDEA in Kathmandu. I was truly happy to be going to Nepal, which I had visited before and deeply liked. Nepal went through a lot in the past decade: the end of a civil war and a difficult (some say nonexistent) transitional  justice process, the drafting of a new constitution and ensuing protests, and of course the devastating earthquakes that struck the country in April and May 2015. However, Nepal is determined to move forward and while it might take a while to truly regularize its unstable political situation, it is fascinating and exciting to be in the middle of, and concretely involved in, the growth of a new democracy.

My work at IDEA Nepal allowed me to better grasp the multiple issues surrounding constitutional implementation and related legislative and electoral processes. I have had the opportunity to work on projects related to gender equality, indigenous communities and election organization. I was also put in charge of coordinating a group of local lawyers, all constitutional experts, who analyzed various bills required to implement Nepal’s year-old Constitution. The recommendations and comments we compiled were then brought before various parliamentarians and stakeholders with the goal of influencing the drafting of these bills. I was privileged to learn directly from these experts, and happy to facilitate their important work for the future of Nepal’s incredibly diverse population.

My time at IDEA reinforced my skills as an international lawyer, from writing and editing (newspaper articles and constitutional assessment tools are quite different from large law legal briefs!) to cross-cultural communications. It was without a doubt a very enriching experience and I wish Nepal the best of success in its democracy-building process!

On a personal level, Nepal has also been great. As an avid trekker and runner who loves the outdoors, I was not disappointed. I went on two beautiful treks and on weekly trail runs in the Kathmandu Valley with funny and very welcoming fellow runners, both Nepali and foreigners. Kathmandu has also a vibrant cultural scene and a great coffee culture, which, as a Montrealer, I very much enjoyed