U Ko Ni and Legal Reform in Myanmar

The International Bar Association has released a report examining the trial of the men responsible for the assassination of U Ko Ni, a prominent lawyer from Myanmar.

Here’s a brief recap on some resources available on U Ko Ni, his life and contribution, and the legal system he sought to reform.

This article is a personal tribute written immediately after his death:
Melissa Crouch (2017) ‘Myanmar’s legal voice of conscience: A personal tribute to U Ko Ni’ 31 January, New Mandala. [also available in Burmese]

An extended version of this article is available:
Melissa Crouch (2017) ‘Myanmar’s Advocate for Constitutional Reform: Saya U Ko Ni’, 17(1) Australian Journal of Asian Law 1-12.

Articles written around the commemoration of U Ko Ni’s death include:
Melissa Crouch (2018) ‘Democracy and Peace Frustrated in Myanmar: Remembering U Ko Ni’, 29 Jan, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute
Melissa Crouch (2019) ‘Hope, Despair and the NewNormal in Myanmar’ 9 May, The Interpreter.

On the death penalty, the sentence handed down to some of the perpetrators, see:Melissa Crouch (2019) ‘Death Penalty Paradox inBuddhist Myanmar’ 13 March, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute

For articles on the broader Rakhine State crisis, see

Melissa Crouch (2018) ‘Elections a Sham in RakhineState’ 1 Nov, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute

Melissa Crouch (2018) ‘Myanmar’s RakhineState Crisis: Diplomatic Challenges for ASEAN and Australia’ in Asia Society(ed) 

Disruptive AsiaSpecial Issue for the Australia-ASEAN Summit, Sydney, pp 8-12

Melissa Crouch (2017) ‘The Twisted Politics of Terrorism in Myanmar’ 12 Sept, The Interpreter

U Ko Ni is known for his contribution to the creation of the Office of State Counselor, as discussed in this chapter
Melissa Crouch (in press 2020) ‘Authoritarian Straightjacket or Vehicle for Democratic Transition? The Risky Struggle to Change Myanmar’s Constitution’ in T Ginsburg and Aziz Huq (ed) Implementing New Constitutions. Cambridge University Press

A brief introduction to the 2008 Constitution U Ko Ni sought to change is contained in:
Melissa Crouch (in press 2019) ‘The Constitution of Myanmar’, in David Law et al (ed) The Oxford Handbook ofConstitutions in Asia. Oxford University Press
An extended analysis of how the Constitution is understood and works in Myanmar is available in
Melissa Crouch (2019) The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis. Hart Publishing

U Ko Ni was particularly concerned with issues of judicial independence, the role of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal in Myanmar, see for example

Melissa Crouch (2018) ‘The PrerogativeWrits as Constitutional Transfer’Oxford Journalof Legal Studies 1-23.

Melissa Crouch (2018) ‘Democrats, Dictators and Constitutional Dialogue: Myanmar’s Constitutional Tribunal’, 16(2) International Journal of Constitutional Law 421-446

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. pp 264-283