Judicial Power in Myanmar and the Challenge of Judicial Independence

Melissa Crouch (2017) ‘Judicial Power in Myanmar and the Challenge of Judicial Independence’ in HP Lee and Marilyn Pittard (ed) Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 17-24

Posted: 2 Mar 2017 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Melissa Crouch

Melissa Crouch

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 26, 2017

Abstract

What can be learnt about the idea and ideal of judicial independence in authoritarian regimes? While idealised international standards and declarations of judicial independence note the need for separation from the executive, there is more often silence on the relative position of the courts in relation to the military. Yet in country’s like Myanmar’s semi-military regime (2011-), discussions of judicial independence from the executive and legislature make little sense unless we first consider separation from military rule. Military involvement in the courts, both at a personal and institutional level, has become the norm over past decades in Myanmar. In light of this reality, this chapter considers the nature of judicial power of the Constitutional Tribunal and Supreme Court. It highlights debates raised over appointment and removal procedures, questions over which court should have jurisdiction on constitutional review matters, concerns of military-executive interference and the domineering attitude of the Parliament towards the courts. As a recent yellow ribbon campaign protesting against military transfers into the courts highlights, independence of the courts from military influence is a necessary yet difficult first step forward.

Suggested Citation

Crouch, Melissa Amy, Judicial Power in Myanmar and the Challenge of Judicial Independence (February 26, 2017). Melissa Crouch (2017) ‘Judicial Power in Myanmar and the Challenge of Judicial Independence’ in HP Lee and Marilyn Pittard (ed) Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity. Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 17-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2923962

Melissa Amy Crouch (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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