Myanmar's Constitution of 2008 was the `road map' for the reform process that began in 2011. Despite extensive criticism of this Constitution for its emphasis on the role of the military, much progress has been made towards constitutional government and law reform. With the election of the opposition NLD to government in the general election of November 2015 and the presidential electoral college election of March 2016,now is the time to consider the Constitution, and prospects and needs for constitutional change as Myanmar moves towards democracy and the rule of law.
Much has been made of the Constitution's rigidity, which is seen as an obstacle to reform and inconsistent with embracing the rule of law, human rights and multi-party democracy, especially with a rapidly transforming state and society. Nonetheless, the Constitution is also seen as having potential to be a very positive force for reform.
Many issues arise now for constitutionalism and constitutional change: presidency; federalism and territorial governance; the status of minorities and freedom of religion; civil liberties in what is described as a `discipline-flourishing democracy'; the courts, justice and the rule of law; the electoral system; and many more. This book is an attempt to gauge the extent and potential for the entrenchment of constitutionalism in Myanmar in a rapidly changing environment.
Andrew Harding is Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore. Khin Khin Oo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Law, University of Yangon, Myanmar.
1. Seeking Constitutional Settlement in Myanmar Janelle Saffin 2. Rule of Law Concepts in Burma's Constitutions and Actual Practice: No Ground for Optimism Myint Zan 3. A Second Panglong Agreement: Burmese Federalism for the Twenty-first Century David C Williams 4. Irresistible Forces and Immovable Objects: Constitutional Change in Myanmar Andrew Harding 5. The 2008 Constitution: The Evolution of Leadership Priscilla Clapp 6. Contesting the Rules: Myanmar's 2015 Election and Electoral Integrity Bridget Welsh 7. Achieving `Genuine Federalism'? Myanmar's Inexorable Path Towards Constitutional Devolution and Decentralised Governance Marcus Brand 8. The Everyday Emergency: Between the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure in Myanmar Melissa Crouch 9. How the Constitutional Tribunal's Jurisprudence Sparked a Crisis Dominic Jerry Nardi, Jr 10. Judicial Power and the Constitutional Tribunal: Some Suggestions for Better Legislation Relating to the Tribunal and its Role Khin Khin Oo 11. Human Rights under the New Regime Catherine Renshaw 12. The Legal Profession and the Substantive Rule of Law in Myanmar Janelle Saffin and Nathan Willis