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National and State constitutions, draft constitutions and amendments (commentary)

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Constitutional amendment for Myanmar
Date of publication: 08 August 2013
Description/subject: "....Finally, this amendment process must open up opportunities for future constitutional amendments. The Constitution sets an extremely high benchmark in order to pass amendments. It requires more than 75 per cent of all representatives in the national parliament, as well as more than half the votes at a national referendum. This leaves no doubt that the military controls the current constitutional amendment process, given that it occupies 25 per cent of the seats in parliament. The provision on amending the Constitution must be amended to ensure that this is no longer the case. The list of potential amendments could on: real guarantees for human rights, independence for the Union Election Commission, greater mechanisms for accountability of government action, just to name a few. Yet the above issues would be a real start. These formal and structural reforms to the legal order would then open the way for more substantive changes to take place. The 8888 anniversary is a time to reflect on 25 years of a heroic and prolonged struggle for democracy, one that continues today. But it must also be a time to look forward, and to see this opening for constitutional amendment as the key to a genuine and fair political contest in the 2015 elections...."
Author/creator: Melissa Crouch
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 16 July 2014


Individual Documents

Title: Constitutional Amendment Procedures
Date of publication: September 2014
Description/subject: "What? • A constitutional amendment alters the content of a constitutional text in a formal way... Why? • Constitutions need to be amended o ver time to adjust provisions that are inadequate, to respond to new needs, including supplementing rights, etc. Otherwise, the text of a constitution cannot reflect social realities and political needs over time. Yet the constitution also needs to be protected from short-sighted or partisan amendments... Why not? • Some form of formal amendment procedures are a near-universal feature of contemporary constitutions. Thus, for constitution- makers, the relevant question is not so much whether there should be a provision addressing formal amendments, but what needs to be considered while drafting it... Where? • All democratic countries in the world have a provision in their constitution regulating the conditions for amending it."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (119K)
Date of entry/update: 16 May 2015


Title: What Is a Constitution? Principles and Concepts
Date of publication: August 2014
Description/subject: Overview: What Is a Constitution? The vast majority of contemporary constitutions describe the basic principles of the state, the structures and processes of government and the fundamental rights of citizens in a higher law that cannot be unilaterally changed by an ordinary legislative act. This higher law is usually referred to as a constitution.... The content and nature of a particular constitution, as well as how it relates to the rest of the legal and political order, varies considerably between countries, and there is no universal and uncontested definition of a constitution. Nevertheless, any broadly accepted working definition of a constitution would likely include the following characteristics: A constitution is a set of fundamental legal-political rules that: (1) are binding on everyone in the state, including ordinary lawmaking institutions; (2) concern the structure and operation of the institutions of government, political principles and the rights of citizens; (3) are based on widepread public legitimacy; (4) are harder to change than ordinary laws (e.g. a two-thirds majority vote or or a referendum is needed); (5) as a minimum, meet the internationally recognized criteria for a democratic system in terms of representation and human rights.."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (98K)
Date of entry/update: 16 May 2015


Title: The Lady Rallies the Masses Once Again - Aung San Suu Kyi wants to change the Burmese constitution. But will the military really go along?
Date of publication: 05 June 2014
Description/subject: "During the third week of May, Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters gathered for two mass rallies in Rangoon and Mandalay, Burma's two biggest cities. (The demonstration in Mandalay, the most important commercial city in upper Burma, drew an estimated 25,000 supporters.) Both rallies called for amending Article 436 of the 2008 constitution, which essentially gives the military a veto over any amendments. The article stipulates that any amendments require the support of more than 75 percent of members of the parliament, where unelected military representatives control a quarter of the seats. Aung San Suu Kyi's camp have to get rid of this provision before they can amend the article that prevents her from holding the presidency. There's no doubt that Burma's constitution is deeply flawed. The excessive power that it grants the military and the obstacles it places in the way of amendment are only two of the most obvious problems. Ideally, of course, these provisions can be changed or abolished. In reality, matters are a bit more complicated..."
Author/creator: Min Zin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 June 2014


Title: Myanmar: election boycotts and democracy
Date of publication: 07 March 2014
Description/subject: "For many years, we have learned about cryptic events in Burma/Myanmar from rumors. We had hoped that this would change with the elimination of censorship, and there has been much progress. But rumors still abound and decision-making is often still opaque. According to some reports, Aung San Suu Kyi has said that if the 2008 Myanmar constitution is not changed to allow her to compete for the presidency, her party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - will boycott the 2015 elections. Others in the party say this is not true. She is currently prohibited from being (indirectly) elected by the Burmese parliament (Hluttaw) for the presidency or vice presidency because family members hold foreign passports..."
Author/creator: David I Steinberg
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014


Title: Constitutional Reform in Myanmar: Priorities and Prospects for Amendment
Date of publication: January 2014
Description/subject: "...The Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Myanmar’s third and current constitution (“the Constitution”), was adopted following a referendum on 10 May 2008, held just eight days after Cyclone Nargis, the most devastating natural disaster in Myanmar’s history. There was little or no public participation in the production of the text of the Constitution; indeed the proposed text was published just one month before the referendum and was unavailable to a large part of the electorate.... 2. However, Myanmar has recently taken a significant step towards participatory democracy by inviting public views on the amendment of the Constitution. In July 2013 the Joint Committee for Reviewing the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (“the Committee”) was established with the aims of: guaranteeing the perpetuation, peace, stability and development of the Republic; bringing eternal peace to all national races and ethnic people by bringing unity between them; and carrying on democratic reforms for building the state. One of the Committee’s first actions was, on October 3 2013, to announce a nationwide consultation exercise aimed at garnering advice from a broad range of political parties, organizations and individuals as to how the Constitution might be amended. This exercise ran until December 31 2013. The Committee has stated that it received 28,247 letters in response.... 3. During the consultation period, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (“the Bingham Centre”) took part in a project to encourage participation by the citizens of Myanmar in that consultation exercise. The Bingham Centre assisted in many well-attended workshops across different parts of Myanmar between October and December 2013. As a result of these workshops, over 500 people submitted responses to the Committee. A summary of the Bingham Centre’s experience of people’s priorities for reform is set out below.... 4. However, the immediate priority for reform identified by the overwhelming majority of delegates at the numerous workshops was to amend the onerous procedure for amending the Constitution, without which reform is likely to be extremely difficult. This paper seeks to put those popular concerns into context by comparing to other constitutions around the world the three elements of this procedure, which, in our view, combine to make it so onerous. Those three elements are:..."
Author/creator: Naina Patel, Alex Goodman and Naomi Snider
Language: English
Source/publisher: Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law (Working Paper No 2014/01)
Format/size: pdf (768K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs19/Bingham-2014-01-myanmar_constitutional_reform.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 October 2014


Title: Institutional Design for Divided Societies: A Blue-print for a multi-ethnic Burma
Date of publication: May 2012
Description/subject: "The retrospective analysis of an institutional breakdown – democratic breakdown – in the union of Burma demonstrates that over six decades of conflict in Burma is rooted in a constitutional arrangement that fails to recognize the existence of ethno-cultural cleavages, resulting in the denial of power to territorially concentrated ethnic national minorities. Therefore, in this article, I argue that an asymmetrical federation with a written constitution is the most viable governance framework for a democratic future Burma due to its multi-ethnic segmental cleavages such as ethnicity, language, religion, culture, and territory. Such a constitutional federation will ensure shared rule for a common Union and self-rule for federating states drawn upon ethnic lines. To contextualize an institutional design for future Burma in a comparative international perspective, I examine the core arguments put forward by the integrationist and accommodationist camps as a theoretical framework within which to discuss the management of societal divisions, including their implications and applicability to Burma. To prove that a constitutional federation that draws together elements of both integrationist and accommodationist theory, I revisit and analyse reasons behind the constitutional crises of Burma, the basis upon which Burma emerged as a country, the composition of its ethnic fragmentations, and competing visions of the Union of Burma itself. With respect to an institutional design for a future Burma, there are two main components in my proposal: a disproportional upper chamber in the union legislature, whereby I envision an equal number of representatives from each constituent state; and separate legislatures and constitutions for each federating unit, dividing power between central and state governments along the line of US states and Canadian provinces. Lastly, I look at the current provisional constitution drafted by leaders of a democratic opposition – seven ethnic national minorities - in anticipation of a future federal Union of Burma..."
Author/creator: Zaceu Lian
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Working Paper No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (377K - OBL version; 868K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-WP-1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2012


Title: The Incongruous Return of Habeas Corpus to Myanmar
Date of publication: 25 August 2010
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "Where the role of the courts is to assist in a state programme, rather than check executive power, policy directives can be implemented through the judiciary in the same way as through the administrative bureaucracy. By contrast, systems like those in Sri Lanka or Nepal may be defective and compromised but judges in them do still adjudicate more according to the terms of law than according to the dictates of executive officers. Ironically, a corrupted policy-implementing judicial system like that in Myanmar can be mistaken for an efficient system in contrast to its functionally separate counterparts, because its efficiency derives from the carrying out of orders and urgency to make money through the exercise of authority, not from integrity or professionalism of the sort that courts in other countries struggle to achieve, however imperfectly and half-heartedly. This is the real incongruity of habeas corpus as an element in the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar. Habeas corpus is premised on the idea that courts have the power to compel soldiers, police and other officials to follow their orders. In Myanmar, where the judiciary is a proxy for the executive, judges have this power only where they have the approval and backing of higher executive authorities. Whereas in certain authoritarian settings the courts have retained nominal legal power over other parts of government but have been unable or unwilling to exercise it at certain times because of extenuating circumstances, in Myanmar the problem is much more basic. Myanmar’s courts don’t have effective authority over other parts of government at all. Their capacity to review the activities of state agencies and agents is limited to what the executive permits them. Under these circumstances, not only is the reintroducing of habeas corpus a figment but so too is any constitutional commitment to protect the individual, because all such legal commitments are delimited by higher administrative imperatives. Only where legal and administrative objectives coincide can the former prevail. The incongruity of habeas corpus in the new constitution percolates throughout the charter’s contents, and through the extant state institutions that will be responsible for establishing new institutions in accordance with its terms following general elections. Where the armed forces rather than the judiciary have responsibility to safeguard the constitution and uphold the rule of law, statements of citizens’ rights are perverse. Where the state has subordinated legality to policy and detached policy from any coherent ideology, no amount of technical or procedural rearranging can effect significant change. Because the new constitution is a vague expression that is not binding on its guardian, ultimately it contains no guarantees, whether for a political detainee, an ordinary under-trial accused or anyone else."
Author/creator: Nick Cheesman
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Ruling Myanmar From Cyclone Nargis to National Elections", Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, pp. 90-111
Format/size: pdf (177K)
Alternate URLs: https://anu-au.academia.edu/NickCheesman
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2014


Title: Preliminary Analysis of Myanmar’s 2010 Electoral Laws
Date of publication: 31 March 2010
Description/subject: "This briefing paper is intended to give a concise overview of the main provisions of the electoral laws and bylaws issued by the Myanmar authorities in March 2010, and to discuss some of the implications of the most important provisions. These laws establish the detailed framework for the first elections in Myanmar for 20 years, which will take place later this year on a date yet to be announced. These elections, while they will not be free and fair, nevertheless represent the most important political shift in a generation. A new political space will be created – however constrained it may be – along with a set of new State institutions. The ageing military leadership will also hand over the reins of power to a new generation. It is therefore vital to have a clear understanding of this legislation and its likely consequences; however, much of the debate so far has been based on a hasty and often erroneous reading of the laws..."
Author/creator: Richard Horsey
Language: English
Source/publisher: Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum
Format/size: pdf (149K)
Date of entry/update: 03 April 2010


Title: Major flaws in the 2008 constitution
Date of publication: 06 March 2010
Description/subject: "Burma’s constitution was ratified in the days following cyclone Nargis in May 2008 by an alleged 92 percent of the population, out of a total 98 percent who turned out to vote, the ruling junta asserted. International observers have said however that voter intimidation and corruption, not to mention the deaths of 140,000 people from the cyclone, distorted the real picture, particularly as the cyclone prevented millions from accessing polling booths. The constitution will play a key role in the results of elections this year; several clauses bar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from participating, while other deliberately vague laws appear to permit use of intimidation and threats against opposition by the government. Critics of the ruling junta have already said that the elections will be a charade aimed at cementing military rule in Burma..."
Author/creator: Aung Htoo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2010


Title: A State-run "Market Economy"
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Without the rule of law, there are no guarantees the economy will be free of state interference under the 2008 Constitution... "The economic aspects of Burma’s 2008 Constitution have been notably absent from the recent written analysis of its implications for Burmese society. Though constitutions are not primarily economic documents, Burma’s latest Constitution does contain clauses that have economic import, and it is worth looking at them carefully. There is an important caveat, however, and this is that a regime that consistently honors the rule of law only in the breach and has many incentives (financial and otherwise) for maintaining the status quo is unlikely to change its behavior anytime soon; therefore, the Constitution may amount to little. Regardless of whether the military abides by its Constitution, however, the document can provide insight into the thinking of its drafters..."
Author/creator: Sean Turnell
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 8
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17134
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: Above the Law
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: Burma’s rulers will continue to lean heavily on the judiciary to impose their vision of a “discipline-flourishing democracy”... "After decades of military rule, many Burmese are no longer aware that their country had one of the most progressive judicial systems in the region after independence in 1948. Judges had secure salaries and could only be removed for misbehavior or incapacity. The courts were not afraid to challenge the executive, and the Supreme Court proclaimed that the 1947 Constitution should be interpreted in a “liberal and comprehensive spirit.” Even at the height of insurgencies against Rangoon in the late 1940s, the Supreme Court ordered police to release men who had been detained illegally. ILLUSTRATION: HARN LAY/THE IRRAWADDY The slide from a judiciary with integrity to its present role as defender of the military began when the late Gen Ne Win seized power and imprisoned Chief Justice Myint Thein for six years—longer than he imprisoned former Prime Minister U Nu. When Ne Win drafted the 1974 Constitution, he removed any remaining separation between the judiciary and the government. He packed the Council of People’s Justice, which replaced the Supreme Court, with members of the Burma Socialist Programme Party. The Constitution required the court to “protect the socialist system” rather than the rights of Burmese citizens. Although the military revived the Supreme Court in 1988, Human Rights Watch maintains that judges still “serve at the whim of the SPDC and must follow the directives of the military.”..."
Author/creator: Arnold Corso
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: MYANMAR: Institutionalized denial of fundamental rights and the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar -- Human Rights Council, 12th Session
Date of publication: 07 September 2009
Description/subject: "...The deeply flawed 2008 Constitution further entrenches arrangements for abuses of the sorts outlined above, and any serious attempts from the international community to take up issues of concern to the people of Myanmar in the lead up to and after the anticipated election must respond to the peculiar variety of unconstitutional constitutionalism that it envisages. In particular, the following aspects of the charter must be brought to the foreground and addressed before it is possible to proceed to more in-depth discussion about human rights in Myanmar under a government operating according to its parameters:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asian Human Rights Commission via UN Human Rights Council (A/HRC/12/NGO/21)
Format/size: pdf (36K)
Date of entry/update: 04 December 2009


Title: MYANMAR: TOWARDS THE ELECTIONS
Date of publication: 20 August 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The bizarre prosecution and conviction of opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for violating her house arrest has returned attention to repression in Myanmar, as preparations were underway for the first national elections in twenty years, now scheduled for 2010. This further undermined what little credibility the exercise may have had, especially when based on a constitution that institutionalises the militaryâ�" a number of prominent regime opponents have been arrested and sentenced to prison terms over the last year â�" the constitution and elections together will fundamentally change the political landscape in a way the government may not be able to control. Senior Generals Than Shwe and Maung Aye may soon step down or move to ceremonial roles, making way for a younger military generation. All stakeholders should be alert to opportunities that may arise to push the new government toward reform and reconciliation. At first glance, the obstacles to change seem over­whelming. The 2008 constitution entrenches military power by reserving substantial blocs of seats in the national and local legislatures for the army, creating a strong new national defence and security council and vesting extraordinary powers in the commander-in-chief. It prevents Aung San Suu Kyi from standing for president, even if she were not imprisoned. It is extremely difficult to amend. And while not all regulations relating to the administration of the elections have been an­nounced, they are unlikely to offer much room for manoevre to opposition parties. But the elections are significant because the controversial constitution on which they are based involves a complete reconfiguration of the political structure â�" establishing a presidential system of government with a bicameral legislature as well as fourteen regional governments and assemblies â�" the most wide-ranging shake-up in a generation. The change will not inevitably be for the better, but it offers an opportunity to influence the future direction of the country. Ultimately, even assuming that the intention of the regime is to consolidate military rule rather than begin a transition away from it, such processes often lead in unexpected directions. This report looks at the elections in the context of Myan­mar�s constitutional history. It examines key provisions of the 2008 constitution and shows how many of the controversial articles were simply taken from its 1947 or 1974 predecessors. Noteworthy new provisions include strict requirements on presidential candidates, the establishment of state/regional legislatures and governments, the reservation of legislative seats for the military, military control of key security ministries, the authority granted to the military to administer its own affairs (in particular military justice) and the creation of a constitutional tribunal. Criticism of the constitution from groups within Myan­mar has focused on military control, ethnic autonomy, qualifications for political office, and the very difficult amendment procedures. The main reaction of the populace to it and the forthcoming elections is indifference, rooted in a belief that nothing much will change. Some of the so-called ceasefire groups â�" ethnic minorities that have ended their conflicts with the government â�" are endorsing ethnic political parties that will take part in the polls. These groups take a negative view of the constitution but feel that there may be some limited opening of political space, particularly at the regional level, and that they should position themselves to take advantage of this. There are increased tensions, however, as the regime is pushing these groups to transform into border guard forces partially under the command of the national army. The National League for Democracy (NLD), winner of the 1990 elections, has said it will only take part if the constitution is changed, and it is given the freedom to organise. Assuming this will not happen, it is not yet clear if it will call for a complete boycott in an attempt to deny the elections legitimacy or urge its supporters to vote for other candidates. A boycott could play into the hands of the military government, since it would not prevent the election from going ahead and would mainly deprive non-government candidates of votes, potentially narrowing the range of voices in future legislatures. The Myanmar authorities must make the electoral process more credible. Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners must be released now and allowed to participate fully in the electoral process; politically-motivated arrests must cease. It also critical that key electoral legislation be promulgated as soon as possible, in a way that allows parties to register without undue restriction, gives space for canvassing activities and ensures transparent counting of votes. The international community, including Myanmar�s ASEAN neighbours, must continue to press for these measures while looking for opportunities that the elections may bring. This will require a pragmatic and nuanced strategy towards the new government at the very time, following a deeply flawed electoral process, when pressure will be greatest for a tough stance. The new Myanmar government, whatever its policies, will not be capable of reversing overnight a culture of impunity and decades of abuses and political restrictions. But following the elections, the international community must be ready to respond to any incremental positive steps in a calibrated and timely fashion. To have any hope of inducing a reform course, it is critical to find ways to communicate unambiguously that a renormalisation of external relations is possible..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (Asia Report N°174)
Format/size: pdf (2.5MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/174_myanmar___towards_t...
Date of entry/update: 24 August 2009


Title: Comparative Studies: Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008)
Date of publication: August 2009
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: National Union of the Union of Burma (NCGUB)
Format/size: pdf (971K)
Date of entry/update: 12 February 2010


Title: An Independent Analysis of the Principal Elements of the 2008 Constitution
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Reproduced, with the author’s permission, from “The State in Myanmar” by Robert H Taylor published in 2009 by Hurst & Company, London..."The 2008 constitution contains a number of points that attempt to address issues that had grown out of the state in Myanmar’s post-colonial history. Among these, most prominently and controversially, in addition to the power and autonomy of the armed forces under the constitution, and the complex issue of political autonomy for ethnicallydesignated groups, was the distribution of power between the executive, legislature and judiciary at various levels of government. The constitution is the army government’s attempt to cast these issues in terms that will be politically resolvable and will avoid in the future both the severe conflicts of the civil war and the popular upheaval of 1988. Whether the constitution proves to be more durable and adaptable than its two predecessors, of course, is a question that future historians will answer..."
Author/creator: Robert Taylor
Language: English
Source/publisher: Network Myanmar
Format/size: pdf (124K)
Date of entry/update: 10 March 2010


Title: Constitutionalism Before Constitutions: Burma's Struggle to Build a New Order
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: "In at least some cases - and Burma is one - seeking trust, integration, and unity in the abstract may be neither useful nor even possible. Instead, a reconciliation process should seek, quite specifically, to find constitutional common ground well before drafting begins; it should be oriented toward developing a shared constitutional vision that will provide the warring sides with reason to commit to the new proposed regime. As the contending sides come to realize that they might share specific and concrete constitutional desires, they also come to realize that cohabitation might be possible. The moral of the story is that constitution making (broadly defined) is part and parcel of the creation of social integrity and not merely its consequence...Part I offers an overview of the constitutional history of Burma to the year 2000. Part II explains the constitutional processes going on today-not only the military government's "roadmap to democracy" but also the democracy movement's alternative process (or processes, depending on your perspective). As will become plain, the two processes are very different: the junta's roadmap has yielded a written constitution that will shortly become the law of the land but which lacks all legitimacy.6 By contrast, the democracy movement's alternative will not become sovereign law anytime soon, but it has set in train social dynamics that might, in the long run, build the conditions necessary for genuine constitutional rule..."
Author/creator: David C. Williams
Language: English
Source/publisher: Indiana University Maurer School of Law Faculty Publications. Paper 492.
Format/size: pdf (740K-OBL version; 2.42K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1492&context=facpub
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2012


Title: The 2008 Myanmar Constitution: Analysis and Assessment
Date of publication: December 2008
Description/subject: Contents: I Purposes of constitutions and constitution making processes . 1 II Context of Constitutional Reform .. 4 III Process .. 6 Process for the preparation of the Constitution .. 7 IV Constitution. 11 Objectives and Basic Principles of the Constitution 11 Overview of the structure of the Constitution .. 12 Electoral system ... 16 Legislative bodies 20 State and Regional legislatures 22 Union territory legislature 22 Self-administered zone or division legislature . 23 Executives and Presidency ... 23 Constituting the Union government . 24 Powers and responsibilities of the President 25 Accountability of the President 26 Tatmadaw and Commander in Chief ... 26 Judiciary ... 28 Constitutional Tribunal 29 The relationship between the Union, States and Regions, and Self-Administered Areas . 31 Compatibility of laws ... 32 Finance and resources: relations between the Union and State, Regions and Self-Administered Areas . 33 Executive: relations between the Union and State, Regions and Self-Administered Areas 33 Emergency Powers... 34 Amendment Procedure. 36 Transitional Provisions 36 V Assessment ... 37
Author/creator: Yash Ghai
Language: English
Source/publisher: Yash Ghai
Format/size: pdf (217K)
Date of entry/update: 19 December 2008


Title: NEUE VERFASSUNG: Burmas Militärherrscher jubeln über ihr Referendum
Date of publication: 15 May 2008
Description/subject: Hunderttausende Menschen in Burma leiden - doch die Militärjunta verkündet Erfolgsmeldungen: Den Generälen zufolge wurde die neue Verfassung mit über 92 Prozent Zustimmung angenommen. Ausländische Hilfe lassen die Machthaber weiter nur eingeschränkt zu - die Uno ist frustriert; referendum 2008; cyclone Nargis; UN aid programmes;
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Spiegel Online
Format/size: Html (82 kb)
Date of entry/update: 15 May 2008


Title: Chronology of Burma's Constitutional Process
Date of publication: 01 May 2008
Description/subject: 1947-2008
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (88K)
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


Title: Vote to Nowhere - The May 2008 Constitutional Referendum in Burma
Date of publication: 01 May 2008
Description/subject: "...On May 10, 2008, the Burmese military government will hold a referendum on a draft constitution that it claims will usher in a new era of “discipline-flourishing genuine multiparty democracy.” However, the generals’ referendum, reflecting 46 years of brutal military rule, will not bring the people of Burma any closer to a democratic and rights-respecting government they so desperately seek, and for which they have courageously struggled. Instead, the draft constitution that the generals are demanding the Burmese people approve is designed to perpetuate military control in Burma, and obstruct any steps toward a meaningful multiparty democracy that upholds human rights. The environment in Burma prior to the referendum has been one of continuing intimidation of the political opposition and general populace, denial of basic freedoms of expression, association, and assembly, and arbitrary arrests and detention. Under such widespread repression and a pervasive climate of fear, no free and fair referendum can take place in Burma. Since the military crackdown on monks and pro-democracy protestors in August-September 2007, foreign governments and intergovernmental bodies have responded in varying ways. International criticism may be partly responsible for the referendum being announced, in February 2008, but it will not ensure that the vote is conducted freely. Concerted public pressure and targeted sanctions by the military government’s international supporters as well as its detractors is needed if there is to be any hope that real democratic progress, rather than further constitutional travesties, can be achieved..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html, pdf (536K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2008/04/30/vote-nowhere-0
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


Title: Burma - schon vergessen? Diktatorische Volksabstimmung
Date of publication: 29 April 2008
Description/subject: Am 10. Mai wird Burmas Bevölkerung an die Urne gerufen, um über die neue Verfassung abzustimmen. Dabei legt die burmesische Militärjunta ein kleines Lehrstück vor, wie Demokratie bei einer Volksabstimmung zur Farce wird. politische Gefangene; referendum 2008; political prisoners
Author/creator: Christine Pluess, Arbeitskreis Tourismus & Entwicklung
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Fairunterwegs
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008


Title: Constitutional Conundrum
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: As analysts and activists debate how to respond to the regime’s draft constitution, others ask if it will cement the generals’ hold on power or trigger a popular uprising... "FOR the generals who rule Burma, it is a step closer to the coveted goal of permanent military control of the country’s politics. For its detractors, it is a potential lightning rod for decades of pent-up discontent. But for most, it is still a mystery, as they wonder if this is really a distant light at the end of the tunnel or the headlights of an impending disaster. The Burmese regime’s draft constitution, which Burmese voters will be asked to endorse or reject in a referendum in May, has drawn many reactions from people both inside and outside the country. Although there is little consensus on the constitution, which was 14 years in the making, few doubt that the referendum, if it actually goes ahead, will be the junta’s most significant political move since elections in 1990, when voters unequivocally signaled a desire for an end to military rule..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Framing the Future
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: Burma has always been cursed by its constitutions. So, is the upcoming referendum a chance for progress or a step back for the people?
Author/creator: Dominic Faulder
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008


Title: Essay on The Government of India Act 1935
Date of publication: 01 February 2008
Description/subject: 1. Introduction 2. Genesis of the Act 3. Some Features of the Act 4. Provincial Part of the Act 5. Federal Part of the Act 6. Gambles Taken by the British Government 7. Indian Reaction to the Proposed Federation 8. The Working of the Act 9. Postscript
Author/creator: David Steinberg
Language: English
Source/publisher: House of David
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


Title: DESIGNING FEDERALISM IN BURMA
Date of publication: 2005
Description/subject: CONTENTS:Forewords (David Williams)... PART ONE:THE BASIC PRINCIPLES: 1. Federalism, Constitution Making and State Building in Burma (Lian H. Sakhong) Introduction ... Federalism: Theoretical Analysis... Federalism in Burmese Contexts: Lessons from 1947... Nation-Building and the Problem of Forced Assimilation ... State-Building and Unity in Diversity: An Option for the Future... Conclusion: Finding Equilibrium between Nation-Building and State Building .... 2. The Basic Principles for Future Federal Union of Burma (Lian H. Sakhong)... Preamble ... The Basic Principles of Federalism at the time of Union Formation ... Proposal for the Future .... PART TWO:CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN FOR BURMA... 3. Constitutional Design for Burma:The First Lecture (2003) (David C. Williams)... A. The Purpose of a Constitution ... (i) Electoral Systems ... (ii) Separation of Powers ... (iii) Federalism .... (iv) Individual Rights ... B. Securing the Basis of Consent ... C. Federalism ... D. Electoral Systems ... E. The Union Constitution ... F. Judicial Review ... 4. Constitutional Design for Burma:The Second Lecture (2004) (David C. Williams)... A. Introduction ... B. State-Building and Nation-Building ... (i) States ... (ii) Nations ... (iii) States and Nations ... C. Federalism ... D. Federalism in Foreign Affairs ... (i) The States’ Ability to Make Their Own Foreign Policy ... (ii) The States’ Participation in Foreign Policy ... (iii) Political Pressure ... (iv) Implementation ... (v) Direct Participation ... (vi) Permanent Staffs ...E. Electoral Systems ... (i) Majoritarian Systems ... (ii) Proposal Systems ... (iii) Combing Systems ... F. Conclusion .... PART THREE:CONSTITUTIONAL DESIGN AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS... 5. Constitutional Drafting and Fundamental Rights:The Example of Religious Freedom (Susan H. Williams) ... 6. Constitutional Drafting and Fundamental Rights:The Example of Gender Equality (Susan H. Williams) ....
Author/creator: David C.Williams, Lian H.Sakhong, Susan H.Williams
Language: English
Source/publisher: ENC "PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE: Towards Federal Union of Burma [Series No.10]"
Format/size: pdf (723.41 KB)
Date of entry/update: 30 August 2010


Title: Burma's Ethnic Problem is Constitutional
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "...Has Burma really been on the brink of fragmentation since independence? Are the ethnic nationalities and the politics of ethnicity the root cause of the problem? Was General Ne Win correct when he claimed in 1962 that he had to seize state power to prevent Burma from disintegration? The current State Peace and Development Council also claims that there are 135 languages and 8 major races in Burma requiring a strong centralized military to keep the country together. Is this true? ..."
Author/creator: Harn Yawnghwe and B. K. Sen
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: The original and authoritative version of this article may be found in "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 at
http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Federalism and Self-Determination: Some Reflections
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "Federalism has, for many decades now, been seen an answer to the challenges posed by multi-ethnic societies the world over. In some cases, the idea has worked, while in others it manifestly has not. Where it has failed, the reasons have often lain as much with human deficiencies as with systemic shortcomings..."
Author/creator: Venkat Iyer
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: The original and authoritative version of this article may be found in "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 at
http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Federalism as a Solution to the Ethnic Problem in Burma
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "From January 4, 1948, the day the Union of Burma came into existence as an independent nation, the people and their leaders have been divided over how to achieve national unity and structure their state. Until 1988, it was federal in name and theory, but unitary in practice. After five decades of political discussion, peaceful movements for secession or autonomy and warfare, the majority Burmans and most of the ethnic minorities remain disunited. From time to time efforts have been made by the Government of Burma and the minorities, either alone or in groups, to end revolt and disunity, but none have succeeded. Today, the basic problem is the same as the one the nation's founding fathers faced fifty years ago: how to construct a political system wherein diverse peoples feel free and equal, able to govern themselves in their own areas, protect and preserve their languages, cultures and traditions, while at the same time give their political loyalty to the nationstate..."
Author/creator: Josef Silverstein
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: The original and authoritative version of this article may be found in "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 at
http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Federalism With A New Twist: Burma's Only Option
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "The author of the article "The Panglong Spirit Lives On" (Chao-Tzang Yawnghwe in The Irrawaddy, July 2001) argued that the guiding principle of the Panglong Accord is "unity in diversity". He raised the question as to whether there is a formula for ending Burma's decades of ethnic strife, and answered it himself with "Yes, and it is none other than the political vision that brought modern Burma into existence half a century ago". This is begging the question: what is this political vision, which is abstract in terms of people's understanding? The meaning of terminology such as "unity in diversity" is academically attractive, but in the understanding of the activists it helps little. However, Yawnghwe retrieved much of the ground lost in the struggle evolving a viable concept for the establishment of a stable Burma by stating that the major goal is the establishment of a democratic, federal Union of Burma, to be composed of self-determining states living together in equality and peace. It is argued that core issues must be addressed, and the debate has to be brought to a fruitful end..."
Author/creator: B. K. Sen
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: The original and authoritative version of this article may be found in "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 at
http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Federalism, Burma and How The International Community Can Help
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "International Community can help via systematic study and consideration of the world's federations, in pursuit of an understanding of what federalism can achieve when presented with a range of entrenched political and/ or ethnic problems. The international community thus provides and becomes the backdrop, and the actor/ participants can research, inform, educate, and consider whether and in what ways federalism can provide some solutions to the crisis of governance in which they flounder. Burma has never progressed past the polarised and prevailing view of federalism, yet for so long an aspiration of many of Burma's leaders, notably the National Democratic Front (NDF) since its formation in 1976, and still today. 1 The United Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD) an umbrella political organisation of non-Burman nationalities that formed in 1989 likewise embraces federalism as a path to political, therefore constitutional settlement, that will bring peace and prosperity. 2 Until the political actors in and of Burma have this debate, its ability to resolve its political differences by political means to effect a constitutional settlement will elude them. National reconciliation will remain a catch cry..."
Author/creator: Janelle Saffin
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Federalism: Putting Burma Back Together Again
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "This paper deals with the absence or the non-existence of a functional relation between the state in Burma and broader society which is also made up of non-Burman 1 ethnic segments that inhabit the historical-territorial units comprising the Union of Burma. 2 Introduction: Putting the Country Back Together Again The paper looks into the problems related to the task, as yet to be accomplished, of "putting the country back together again", in contrast to the claim of the military and its state is "keeping the country together". It is here argued that although the military has, in a manner of speaking, "kept the country together", it has also distorted the relation between the state in Burma and broader society by monopolizing power and excluding societal elements and forces from the sphere of the state and from the political arena. The military's centralist, unitary impulse, informed by it ethnocentric (Burmanization) national unity formula, has contributed to a dysfunctional state-society relation, that has in turn brought about the present crisis of decay and general breakdown, making Burma a failed state..."
Author/creator: Chao-Tzang Yawnghwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2010


Title: In Search of a Constitution for Burma
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: "Constitution can be a strong foundation for every country to be established as a just, free, peaceful and developed society. Burma is in the process of producing a new constitution. By amalgamating lessons from previous historical experiences and current practical situation of the country, it is hoped that a proper constitution for future Burma might be produced. Major concern is that without finding ways and means to resolve the underlying issues of a country, production of constitution superficially is meaningless and constitution might not be effective from positive aspect in our future society. In this account, the constitution making process or the way, how a constitution will be produced, is of paramount importance. In attempting to produce a constitution, onesided or unproper guidance to the people should be avoided. In a genuine constitution making process, the people, regardless of race, social origin, gender and etc, should be allowed to uncover their sufferings frankly, propose possible solutions positively, and express their will to restructure the society freely thereby leading the process to be more and more participatory. Any kind of discrimination should not be exercised within a genuine constitution making process whether be it federal or state constitution making processes..."
Author/creator: Aung Htoo
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interview With Sao Seng Suk
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: Federalism in Burma: (Sao Seng Suk is the Chairman of the Shan State Constitution Drafting Committee. Following is a literal transcript of the interview he had with U Aung Htoo and B. K. Sen). "Do you consider the constitution to be the core issue in a peaceful political settlement in Burma?" Sao Seng Suk: "Yes, I certainly do. Because all problems arose since Pyidaungzu was established in 1947 from the then constitution. If all accept democratic constitution, historical problems can be settled peacefully and the country rebuilt according to constitution, as there will be many kinds of freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of activities, etc." "What type of Constitution will be viable?" Sao Seng Suk: "Federal type constitution, federal is suitable for us..."
Author/creator: U Aung Htoo, B. K. Sen
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: PDF
Alternate URLs: The original and authoritative version of this article may be found in "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 11 at
http://www.blc-burma.org/activity_pub_liob.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Secession and Self-Determination in the Context of Burma's Transition
Date of publication: December 2001
Description/subject: "The word 'secession' has originated from the concept of 'self-determination'. Apart from its historical context, 'self-determination' can also be seen in its plain meaning. The Oxford Dictionary defines 'self-determination as, 'The right of a nation or people to decide what form of government it will have or whether it will be independent of another country or not'. The second part of this definition is easy to understand. A nation or people has the right to be independent of another country when under subjugation of that country. But sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a nation striving for selfdetermination is actually a nation..."
Author/creator: B.K. Sen
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 10 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Alternate URLs: The original (and authoritative) version of this article may be found in http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Legal_Issues_on%20Burma_Journal_10.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Designing Constitution as Policy Formulation
Date of publication: April 2001
Description/subject: "An intensive people's movement for the restoration of democracy and human rights has been existing in Burma for more than a decade. In the meantime, both government and opposition groups have been drafting constitutions, to be put into force during the transition to a more open and democratic system of government..."
Author/creator: Khin Maung Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Legal Issues on Burma Journal" No. 8 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Alternate URLs: The original (and authoritative) version of this article may be found in http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Legal%20Issues%20on%20Burma%20Journal%208.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma's Election and Constitutional History: A Snapshot
Date of publication: December 2000
Description/subject: "...The nation's constitutional and election history highlights the difficulties that have been encountered in securing peace with the people, particularly as the armed forces (Tatmadaw) have long ruled Burma. There is no culture of consent between the governed and the government and this is a constant of political life. Until this is remedied, the country embroiled in its own civil war for 52 years will stay at war in one form or another..."
Author/creator: Janelle Saffin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 7 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Alternate URLs: The original (and authoritative) version of this article may be found on http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Legal%20Issues%20on%20Burma%20Journal%207.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Rival Constitution Writing Processes: A Problem in National Reconciliation in Burma
Date of publication: December 2000
Description/subject: "One of the major issues proving to be an obstacle to the achievement of national reconciliation in Burma is the rival constitution writing processes initiated by opposing forces. As the competing political forces use the constitutional drafting process as a political football, the chance for dialogue and prospects for national reconciliation remain dim. The State Peace and Development Council's (SPDC) constitution drafting process, which started in January 1993, emerged as a method utilized by the junta to deter the National League for Democracy (NLD) from taking power. As the junta strictly controls the entire constitution writing process, other forces including the NLD and ethnic organizations who have signed ceasefire agreements with the junta, have been denied the right to freely participate in the junta initiated process..."
Author/creator: Khin Maung Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 7 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Alternate URLs: The original (and authoritative) version of this article may be found on http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Legal%20Issues%20on%20Burma%20Journal%207.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Issues of self-determination in Burma
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: "This paper seeks to provide an introduction to the concept of self-determination, and to suggest the importance of this concept in Burma. A comprehensive analysis of either topic is beyond the scope of this paper, which is aimed at readers without great familiarity with either area. Suggestions for further reading may be found in the references. The paper begins by discussing the concept of self-determination, and its varied meanings. A brief history of the development of the concept follows, in which the meaning of self-determination beyond decolonisation is touched upon. The situation of minorities within a state is then considered. The second section of the paper is a discussion of the particular case of Burma..."
Author/creator: Louise Southalan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 5 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma's Future Constitution: Comparing and contrasting democracy and human rights provisions in two draft Burmese constitutions from an international perspective
Date of publication: October 1999
Description/subject: "...This article has discussed the draft constitutions for Burma proposed by the National Convention, the body established by the ruling party, and that proposed by the opposition National Council of the Union of Burma. It has reviewed aspects such as the process of constitution of drafting, the electoral system, constitutional supremacy and amendments and appointments to and function of the courts, as well as a Bill of Rights, a Human Rights Commission and declarations of states of emergency. The National Convention's constitution contains many strongly anti-democratic provisions and is silent on several key issues. In contrast, the NCUB's constitution attempts to create a democratic system, but includes several provisions that should be reworked to strengthen democratic checks and balances and prevent future state abuse of power."
Author/creator: Jeremy Sarkin
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 4 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma, South-East Asia and The Road to Democratic Constitution
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Drafting a constitution in Burma. Comparison of the constitutional history of Burma and Thailand and a list of elements needed in a new Burmese constitution.
Author/creator: Vitit Muntarbhorn
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 3 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Convening the People's Assembly: A Legal Analysis
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: "According to Burma's two supposedly superseded constitutions, that of 1947 and 1974, the Pyithu Hluttaw (the People's Assembly) is the body charged with exercising State power. The 1989 Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law (called the Election Law), under which the 1990 elections were conducted, also provides that the duty of representatives elected in accordance with the Election Law is to form the Pyithu Hluttaw (Section 3). The ruling military junta, the people of Burma and the international community acknowledged without qualification that the May 1990 general election was free, fair and lawful. It then follows that those representatives elected by the people in the 1990 election have the lawful right to form a Pyithu Hluttaw that exercises legislative power and appoints a government in accordance with the legal norms of Burma..."
Author/creator: Burma Lawyers' Council
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 3 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Drafting a Constitution in Burma: A Struggle for Participatory Process
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Critique of the National Convention. Comparison between the constitution-drafting processes and principles of the Burmese military, the NLD and the NCUB, with additional comparison with the constitution-drafting processes in the Philippines and Thailand.
Author/creator: Burma Lawyers' Council
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 3 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Lessons From the Past
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Drafting a constitution in Burma "As the peoples and leaders of Burma approach the task of writing a third constitution, a good place to begin is by asking the question, why did the previous constitutions fail to unite the indigenous ethnic minorities and the government in peaceful viable polity. At the heart of the problem is the questions which vexed the founding fathers-how to construct a union in which people who formerly were separated could be joined together so as to benefit from unity while remaining nominally autonomous in their own areas on matters of political rule, economy and culture. Probably the clearest and most direct statement on the question was made by the AFPFL- the nationalist party which led the nation to independence- just before Aung San went to England to discuss Burma's future with the British Prime Minister..."
Author/creator: Josef Silverstein
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 3 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Pyidaungzu, Federalism and Burman Elites: A Brief Analysis
Date of publication: May 1999
Description/subject: Drafting a constitution in Burma. "Federalism is not quite understood in Burma. In fact, it would not be wrong to say it is grossly misunderstood by -- among many others -- the Burman population segment, or at least by its armed elites (or elites in uniform). To armed Burman elites, Federalism is synonomous with the destruction or the disintegration of the Union. The Burman-dominated military led by General Ne Win introduced and entrenched this idea when they usurped power in 1962..."
Author/creator: Chao-Tzang Yawnghwe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Legal Issues on Burma Journal No. 3 (Burma Lawyers' Council)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 August 2004


Title: THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE; HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONSTITUTION MAKING IN BURMA
Date of publication: 14 December 1991
Description/subject: by Janelle M. Diller, Legal Director International Human Rights Law Group, December 14, 1991 Oxford, England. "We find ourselves in an era of accelerated change. Many nations around the world, including Mongolia, Nepal and the countries of Eastern Europe, are thrusting themselves into the process of democratization and democratic constitution-making. Such momentum persists even though, in many cases, democracy has not been a part of the political, social, economic or legal infrastructures of the changing countries. Yet in Burma, nearly one and a half years after the peaceful election of a People's Assembly, the people of Burma continue to be governed by the ruling military State Law and Order Restoration Council ("SLORC"). The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Aung San Suu Kyi this week has helped dispel the prevailing complacency in the international arena with regard to the current situation in Burma. However, just and equitable governance continues to evade the people of Burma. Into the SLORC-controlled environment in which an electoral mandate continues to be withheld and reports of human rights abuses appear with disturbing frequency, the SLORC has announced a plan for arriving at a national consensus which will pave the way for a new constitution to be drafted. How can the Burmese people exercise such a supreme act of popular sovereignty under these conditions? And what international legal standards govern the constitution-making process and its result? Let me briefly review events leading up to the present scenario in order to provide insight into the complexities involved in the establishment of a constitutional culture in Burma. The term 'constitutional culture' here refers to the capacity of political, social and legal infrastructures to cultivate and practice a respect for some sort of supreme law of the land that governs both rulers and governed. Such a culture nurtures both individual and institutional respect for the rule of law..."
Author/creator: Janelle M. Diller
Language: English
Format/size: html (184K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Report of the Government Advisory Committee on the Amendment of the Constitution as Proposed by the Shan State Government and its People, 1962
Date of publication: 08 January 1962
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shanland
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.shanland.org/oldversion/index-3142.htm
Date of entry/update: 13 December 2010