VL.png The World-Wide Web Virtual Library
[WWW VL database || WWW VL search]
donations.gif asia-wwwvl.gif

Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Full-Text Search | Database Search | What's New | Alphabetical List of Subjects | Main Library | Reading Room | Burma Press Summary

Home > Main Library > Law and Constitution > The practice of law in Burma/Myanmar > The courts

Order links by: Reverse Date Title

The courts

Individual Documents

Title: Contempt of Courts Law - Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 17/2013 (English)
Date of publication: 29 July 2013
Language: English
Source/publisher: Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
Format/size: pdf (3K)
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2014


Title: Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law 17/2013 Contempt of Courts Law - တရားရုံးမ်ားကုိ မထီမဲ့ျမင္ျပဳမႈဥပေဒ
Date of publication: 29 July 2013
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Pyidaungsu Hluttaw
Format/size: pdf (43K)
Date of entry/update: 01 December 2013


Title: Myanmar's Courts and the Sounds Money Makes
Date of publication: 2012
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "The public transcript on corruption in Myanmar’s judicial system does not aim primarily to address practices identified as corrupt, but to affirm an elite self-portrait in which the dominant group appears innately superior to its subordinates. Its model of probity is a judicial officer who follows orders as required, who pretends to subscribe to the values of official propaganda, and who successfully maintains the appearance of being free from practices identified as corrupt. In exchange for going along with the public transcript, the elite grants conditional concessions to the interests of subordinates. Subordinates interpret and accommodate these concessions through the language and practices of the hidden transcript. The hidden transcript sustains its public counterpart to the extent that legal professionals find it in their interest to give the appearance of compliance, but the hidden transcript also inverts and undermines much of the public transcript, even as it seemingly accommodates it, and underneath it prickles with rancour at the hypocrisy of senior officials who preach virtue as they practice vice..."
Author/creator: Nick Cheesman
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar's Transition: Openings, Obstacles and Opportunities, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, pp. 231-248
Format/size: pdf (339K)
Alternate URLs: https://anu-au.academia.edu/NickCheesman
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2014


Title: How an Authoritarian Regime in Burma Used Special Courts to Defeat Judicial Independence
Date of publication: 2011
Description/subject: "Why do authoritarian rulers establish special courts? One view is that they do so to insulate the judiciary from politically oriented cases and allow it contin- ued, albeit limited, independence. In this article I present a contrary case study of an authoritarian regime in Burma that used special courts not to insulate the judiciary but to defeat it. Through comparison to other Asian cases I suggest that the Burmese regime’s composition and character better explain its strategy than does extant judicial authority or formal ideology. The regime consisted of war fighters for whom the courts were enemy territory. But absent popular support, the regime’s leaders could not embark immedi- ately on a radical project for legal change that might compromise their hold on power. Consequently, they used special courts and other strategies to defeat judicial independence incrementally, until they could displace the professional judiciary and bring the courts fully under executive control..."
Author/creator: Nick Cheesman
Language: English
Source/publisher: Law & Society Review, Volume 45, Number 4 (2011)
Format/size: pdf (156K)
Alternate URLs: https://anu-au.academia.edu/NickCheesman
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2014


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: A COMPARISON OF THE FIRST AND FIFTIETH YEAR OF INDEPENDENT BURMA'S LAW REPORTS
Date of publication: 2004
Description/subject: "This article compares the annual Law Reports of the first year of Burmese independence in 1948 with those published in the fiftieth year of Burmese independence (1998). In making the comparison, the author highlights the fundamental changes that occurred in the structure and composition of the highest courts in Burma, along with relevant background and factors effecting these changes. There was a movement away from the predominant use of English in 1948 towards judgments exclusively in Burmese in the 1998 Law Reports. Burma's neighbours, who shared a common law legal heritage, did not follow this trend after their independence. This shift, combined with Burma's isolation from the rest of the world, makes analysis of Burmese case law from the past three and a half decades very difficult for anyone not proficient in the Burmese language. This article tries to fill the lacunae as far as the Law Report from the fiftieth year of Burma's independence is concerned."
Author/creator: Myint Zan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Victoria University of Wellington Law Review (Vol. 35, Issue 2)
Format/size: pdf (255K)
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2014