As regular readers of this blog will know, Blade Runner and its sequel Blade Runner 2049 are two of my favorite science fiction films. I’m honored to have a chapter in the upcoming book Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy. The chapter looks at replicants from the perspective of the political science literature on ethnic conflict. This was a fun project and led me to new insights into the film. The book goes on sale on August 20, 2019.
You have probably noticed that I have not updated the blog recently. I recently found out that I’ve been selected for a Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship in Myanmar (Burma) and will be working at the Myanmar Parliamentary Resource Center for about 10 months. So I’ve been busy moving out of my current apartment, putting it up for rent, etc. So stay tuned to this blog because once I arrive in Myanmar I will definitely start blogging about my experiences there…
Here’s an article I recently published in the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal about Myanmar’s Constitutional Tribunal. I argue that the first bench of members used tetualist and originalist approaches to interpreting the 2008 Constitution. I also speculate that this might have made it more difficult for them to relate to the political changes occurring in Myanmar, and at the least did not reduce the risk of impeachment. You can read it on SSRN here. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago, I mentioned news about Daw Kyin Htay’s attempt to use a constitutional writ to challenge her dismissal from the University of Yangon faculty. Here’s a brief follow-up.
Daw Kyin Htay filed a petition for writ of mandamus under § 377 of the Constitution. This explains how the Supreme Court had jurisdiction in the first place, even though the Constitutional Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction over constitutional issues.
Daw Kyin Htay’s lawyer claims this is the first Supreme Court case to overrule a decision by a Union minister, which is significant. However, before we all start calling this Myanmar’s Marbury vs. Madison, it is worth recalling China’s Qi Yuling case from 2001, in which China’s Supreme People’s Court found a constitutional right to education. A flurry of law review articles proclaimed that China’s Marbury vs. Madison moment had arrived, but there was little follow-up and in December 2008 the Supreme People’s Court withdrew the opinion.
I will be interested in reading the Supreme Court’s decision when it comes out in order to understand the legal reasoning in the case. I’m still a bit unclear as to the constitutional right in question here (it seems to be a sort of due process claim under § 375 of the 2008 Constitution). In any case, a fascinating development.