Centre for Asian Legal Studies

Directions & Determinants in Myanmar/Burma’s Legal Reform Process


This project investigates the directions and determinants of Myanmar/ Burma’s legal reform process. It is intended to play a significant part in informing those who are concerned with legal development in Myanmar/ Burma. It intends to move our presently very limited, even factual, knowledge of law in Myanmar/ Burma to a much higher level, and open up a new tranche of research in Asian legal studies.

It will inquire into six areas of reform, attempting to assess progress and potential. In offers an analytical overview of law in this emerging democratic state with an emerging market economy, against a background of military authoritarianism and underdevelopment. The main questions, which go the fundamental directions and determinants of law and development in one of Asia’s emerging areas, are as follows:

i. How far are Myanmar’s legal traditions and institutions under the present legal system viable in the new circumstances?
ii. What is required to renovate the legal system in the light of the new situation?
iii. Which areas of reform are foci or likely foci of legal activity? What has been done and what issues beyond these areas should be addressed?

The areas of legal reform to be covered are as follows: law, politics and governance; economic and economic law reform; the courts and the justice system; conflict, security and human rights; environment, natural resources, and sustainability; international relations perspectives.

A preliminary scoping workshop involving Myanmar/ Burma scholars from a number of disciplines will be followed by a research phase and a further workshop and publication assessing the reform process in the stated areas.

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