*Note: this article first appeared in The East Asia Forum on 3 February 2020 On 1 February, the world was shocked by a military coup in Myanmar and the arrest of State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other political leaders. It shouldn’t have been so surprised. Much of the military’s manoeuvresContinue reading “Myanmar coup on the pretext of a constitutional fig leaf”
The coup in Myanmar as thrown up a whole lot of mega-constitutional questions. Some of the big ones include: was the Constitution ever legitimate in the first place? Who gets to have the final say on the Constitution? Has the military actually followed the Constitution, as it claimed? And, to what extent can the ConstitutionContinue reading “Mega constitutional questions in Myanmar”
*This article was first published here in The Interpreter on 3 February 2020 Myanmar’s transition in 2011 was only ever partial. After all, the country transitioned from direct military rule without a constitution, to a constitutional system where the military reserved for itself unelected seats in parliament. The National League for Democracy (NLD) was wellContinue reading “Myanmar’s empty promise of constitutional reform”
*This article was first published in The Age as ‘The power and ambition behind Myanmar’s coup’ on 2 February 2020 Aung San Suu Kyi is back in familiar territory, under arrest. Early Monday morning she, along with the president and many others, were arrested in a cunning move by the military. So far, at leastContinue reading “Why Myanmar’s Military is Wrong: This is not a Constitutional Emergency”
In a recent book chapter I analyse the risks that democratic actors face if they seek to reform a constitution drafted by an authoritarian regime – taking Myanmar as the case in point. Melissa Crouch (2020) ‘Authoritarian Straightjacket or Vehicle for Democratic Transition?: The Risky Struggle to Change Myanmar’s Constitution’ in Tom Ginsburg and AzizContinue reading “The risks of constitutional change in authoritarian regimes”
Emergency Powers in Myanmar are complicated. Here is my take on how emergency powers in the Constitution are supposed to work – see here A few brief notes – the president has the power under section 417 to declare an emergency in consultation with the National Defence and Security Council. All power is transferred toContinue reading “Emergency Powers in Myanmar”
A Burmese translation of the book “The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis” is available here.
*This post was first published on the International Association of Constitutional Law blog The idea of constitutional landmarks contains a set of basic presumptions. It presumes that courts are important and that they receive cases. It presumes that constitutional landmarks are based upon a liberal democratic conception of law. It presumes that courts offer reasons forContinue reading “Anti-Democratic Constitutional Landmarks”
The Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law has a new podcast series, hosted by the Institute for Migrant Rights in Cianjur, Indonesia. A podcast on the nature of democracy in Myanmar’s military-state can be found here, alongside other podcasts by scholars addressing a range of issues concerning international and comparative law.
The tail end of the twentieth century was a good time for constitutional lawyers. Leapfrogging around the globe, they offered advice on how to amend, write or rewrite one state constitution after the next following the collapse of the Soviet Union and with it, the communist bloc. Largely overlooked in the flurry of constitution draftingContinue reading “New Books Network podcast on Myanmar’s Constitution”