Myanmar and the rule of law

CheesemanIn a new review (DOI 10.1080/00472336.2016.1217556), Susanne Prager-Nyein looks at an important new book by Nick Cheeseman.

Published by Cambridge University Press, Opposing the Rule of Law. How Myanmar’s Courts Make Law and Order is about a contested and debated concept that Prager-Nyein
observes “allows other ideas such as law and order or rule by law to be traded under the same label [rule of law].”

The book is, she says, “remarkable in several respects.” She states:

The author skillfully crafts his narrative to convey the analysis of a rather dry subject in a compelling prose. By tracing the concepts of rule of law and law and order in Burma/Myanmar’s political and legal history since colonial time, the book sheds light on a completely understudied subject. Based on vast, empirical data, it also provides a first, in-depth study of the political and legal practices of courts in military ruled Myanmar and thus contributes to a better understanding of the inner workings of military rule.

The theoretical approach is “sophisticated and useful. It shifts the focus towards the actual
political ideas underlying judicial practices in a country instead of merely recording a deficit of rule of law.”

Likewise, the “findings are important…”. Prager-Nyein concludes that this book is “a must-read for all interested in Burma and contemporary Myanmar.”

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