One thing I’ve said repeatedly is that I’m worried Myanmar’s judiciary is going the way of Indonesia’s, at least to the extent that Reformasi did not tackle judicial corruption when they had the chance. This is why I worry when I saw Justice U Soe Nyunt’s testimony in the Pyithu Hluttaw last week. According to The New Light of Myanmar, the justice claimed that allegations of corruption were merely hearsay. Perhaps, but only because researchers and journalists haven’t ben able to do the type of rigorous research needed to expose corruption.
Fortunately, the Hluttaw Rule of Law Committee is allegedly working on a judicial reform bill, so the issue isn’t being completely ignored. However, much of what we’re heard publicly from the NLD focuses on “judicial independence”. I hope the government recognizes that courts need both independence and accountability.
The New Light of Myanmar reprinted below:
Nay Pyi Taw, 25 Oct- As the Pyithu Hluttaw session continued for the sixth day, U Than Tun of Debayin Constituency raised a question about measures for fighting against corruption at court at different levels and U Myint Tun of Kawthoung Constituency about measures of the Supreme Court of the Union for strengthening of judicial pillar, a proposal approved by Pyithu Hluttaw.
Judge of the Supreme Court of the Union U Soe Nyunt described the alleged corruption at different levels of courts from the ground as misleading hearsay without creditability. The Supreme Court of the Union he said has issued instructions to prevent against bribery, corruption, fraud and negligence of judges and personnel at different levels of courts. Such measures as multi-level enforcement, punitive actions against failure to observe instructions and investigation and punishment on receiving complaints are in practice to enforce the instructions. As regards the question of U Myint Tun, he replied that the Supreme Court of the Union has prepared itself to take advices as necessary if the other three pillars are to support the judicial branch. He reckoned that the Supreme Court of the Union would not need to issue law, by-law, order and instruction with regard to proposal passed by the Pyithu Hluttaw. -NLM