Burma’s courts: rhetoric vs. reality

The Asian Human Rights Commission released a statement condemning the continued subordination of Myanmar’s judiciary. AHRC alleges the government’s talks the talk, but so far hasn’t walked the walk:

“The legacy of judicial corruption is today in the foreground of media and public debate, but the anti-corruption rhetoric that we hear is essentially a continuation of the same type of rhetoric that successive military and military-backed regimes iterated for decades,” said the AHRC.

In reporting on the statement, The Irrawaddy highlights recent libel suits against The Voice and Modern Weekly.

While of concern, I do think the government’s rhetoric is changing. Whereas a few years ago military officials would admonish judges and blame judicial corruption on loose morals, now public officials seem at least implicitly more willing to acknowledge systemic problems that lead to corruption. As I’ve written before, the Hluttaw has even taken to reviewing allegations of judicial bias. What’s becoming more troubling now is the gap between acknowledgement of the problem and effective judicial reforms.

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