Presentations: "Myanmar - federalism and the judiciary"

5-7 March 2018

Cheryl Saunders, ConTransNet Co-Convenor, was in Myanmar for a week in March, in her capacity as senior technical advisor to the Constitution Building Program of International IDEA. During that time, she held seminars and briefings with a series of groups that would be involved in constitution implementation if and when constitutional changes were made to give effect to provisions of a peace agreement.

As always, the knowledge transfer was a two-way street. Professor Saunders has considerable knowledge and understanding of how Constitutions work elsewhere in the world, but gained a great deal of new knowledge, from this and earlier visits, about what the constitutional issues are and where the constitutional tensions lie in Myanmar.

Underlying problems that must ultimately be resolved are very different ideas of what ‘federalism’ might and should involve and, in consequence, different ideas about the extent of constitutional change that might be needed to give it effect.

For more information on federalism issues in Myanmar, read this article by San Wansai on "Conceptual difference on federalism: The case of Burma or Myanmar".

Cheryl Saunders responds to questions from staff from the Union Attorney General’s Office. Photo credit: Annamari Salonen.