About us

Lack of legal education within the Tibetan Diaspora is one of the key impediments to empowering the Tibetans in exile. Tibetan Legal Association’s (to be referred to as TLA henceforth) recent legal surveys in a few Tibetan settlements and educational centres in India testified to the fact that the level of understanding of Tibetans, even on rudimentary legal processes of the host country (India), is painfully low. This serious lack of legal education not only contributes to various social, economic and political problems for Tibetan refugees in India but also impedes them from effectively contributing to the nascent exile of Tibetan democracy. The case is not so different with Tibetans in Tibet under Chinese rule. A focus-group discussion conducted by TLA with some new arrivals from Tibet indicated that their understanding of the rule of law is minimal, yet they showed strong interest in legal education. The same discussion also revealed that many of them are ill-informed about democracy and its processes. To address these issues, TLA has conducted a series of activities since its inception to spread legal awareness. The impacts of these activities have encouraged TLA to further increase and intensify our campaign to benefit as many Tibetans as possible, both in and outside Tibet.

Organizational Background:

The importance of forming an association of Tibetan legal practitioners was promulgated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2009. After a number of deliberations, Tibetan Legal Association, (TLA) a non-governmental organization was formally formed with forty-one participants of Tibetan lawyers, law graduates and law students during the conference of the Tibetan Legal Fraternity organized by the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission on 28 June 2013, Dharamsala. TLA got it legally registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960 on July 23rd 2014 and subject to renewal annually. Owing to various other challenges TLA delayed in opening its door till March 1st 2016 in Dharamsala and currently TLA has 50 members both from India and abroad, membership is limited only to a Tibetans who is either law graduates or law students.


The office of TLA was established on 1st March 2016 in Dharamsala. The overall goals/objectives of TLA as formulated in the Memorandum for Registration of Society are as follows:

A. To provide legal aid on a pro-bono basis to Tibetans-in-exile, and endeavour to provide legal services/lawyers to underprivileged Indians requiring legal protection. Some of the specific legal services that TLA provides are as below:
– Applying for a certificate of birth, marriage, divorce and so on.

– Matters relating to passport and citizenship.

– Registration of society, shops and other commercial establishments.

– Issues relating to legal status in India and fighting deportation cases.

– Help and represent victims to file cases/complaints in the Police and Courts of law.

B. To provide legal advice and workshops from time to time to members of the association, schools, monasteries, non-governmental organizations, civil servants of the Central Tibetan Administration, the general public, etc., thereby enhancing the knowledge of the law and enabling individuals and the community to present/argue their rights in accordance with legal procedures.

C. To render legal service & advice to the Central Tibetan Administration as and when referred.

D. Research on domestic and international law and translating important and relevant legal papers and Acts in the Tibetan language.

E. To conduct research on the legal system of China and create awareness amongst the Tibetan people both in exile and inside Tibet in order to espouse the cause of Tibet through law.

These goals shall result in long-term improvement in the lives of Tibetans in and outside of Tibet in the following ways:

– Increased legal competencies of Tibetans-in-Exile and Tibet, may result in a better life and a stronger economy reducing the burden on the local Welfare Office in particular and CTA in general.
– Enhanced organizational capacity of Tibetan NGOs through legal sensitization programs.
– Improved the welfare of the most vulnerable Tibetans by providing free and easy access to legal services and awareness training.

With these objectives behind TLA aspired to execute the above-mentioned goals to educate and empower the community, the TLA have had till now visited major monasteries and schools to provide legal awareness and in the agenda to visit Tibetan settlements to do the same.
All of TLA’s office bearers are qualified and trained in their field of profession. It comprises professional and experienced advocates with legal expertise and thus is fully capable of providing legal guidance and awareness.

Governing Body:


Ms Tenzin Dechen is a registered lawyer under the Bar Council of India and a Tibetan Law and Custom Counsellor under the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission. She did her  B.Com (honours)  from  Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC ) University of Delhi and then she pursued  LLB from Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.  After graduation, Ms Tenzin Dechen joined Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) as a Junior Advocate and during her tenure of three years at HRLN,  she worked with the various initiatives of HRLN on cases of  Women’s rights, Children’s rights, Prisoners rights, Housing Rights, Reproductive rights and Health rights in the Supreme court of India, High court of Delhi, District courts of Delhi and Juvenile Justice Board. During her tenure at  Human Rights Law Network, an initiative “Legal Aid for Tibetan” was formed.

In the year 2019, she was appointed as the  General Secretary and the Senior Advocate of the Tibetan Legal Association.



Ms Tenzin Dolkar is currently the General Secretay cum Legal Counsel at the Law Office of Tibetan Legal Association. She was appointed to this post after being promoted from the post of Legal Officer. Ms Dolkar did her Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Legislative Law (B.A.LL.B. Hons)  from CMR University, School of Legal Studies, Bengaluru. She has completed her secondary education from C.S.T Mundgod and bagged the Best Girl Award in the year 2017. She has interned in many organisations and worked under many renowned advocates. She assisted in cases of domestic violence, human rights and constitutional provisions of Tibetans in exile. She plans to further advance in her career by specializing in International Law, Human Rights Law, Environmental Law and International Relations. She has also researched various Legislations and Provisions in the Indian Legal System. She aims to use her platform to understand the law in depth, and to be able to utilise the same for the greater good.


Mr. Yargyal is a registered lawyer under the Bar Council of India and a member of Delhi High Court Bar Association. He did his BBA.LLB (Hon.) from School of Law, Lovely Professional University (L.P.U). He has worked on cases concerning I.B.C, SARFAESI, Service cases, Consumer cases and N.I cases in the High Court of Delhi, N.C.L.T, N.C.D.R.C, C.A.T, and various other tribunals and district courts.