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Burma: Draft Legislation on Revision of Penal Code

(Sept. 15, 2015) It was reported on June 22, 2015, that Burma’s Union Supreme Court had submitted the Penal Code Amendment Bill to the Union Parliament. The draft law seeks to update Burma’s antiquated Penal Code of 1860, last amended in 1974, but only by making “fine adjustments and a handful of other minor changes […]

Burma: Men Sentenced on Charges of Insulting Buddha

(Mar. 20, 2015) On March 17, 2015, a court in Burma (also known as Myanmar) sentenced a New Zealand manager of a bar and his Burmese associates to spend time in prison on charges of insulting the Buddhist religion. The three individuals, Philip Blackwood, Tun Thurein, and Htut Ko Ko Lwin, were sentenced to two […]

Burma: Constitutional Referendum Plan Approved

(Mar. 3, 2015) Members of Parliament of Burma (also known as Myanmar) announced on February 11, 2015, that the President of Burma had approved a law permitting a referendum to be held on amending the country’s Constitution. (Jared Ferrie, Myanmar President Enacts Law Allowing Referendum on Disputed Constitution, REUTERS (Feb. 12, 2015).) Approval of the […]

Burma: Temporary Citizens Will Be Allowed to Vote in Constitutional Referendum

(Feb. 6, 2015) It was reported on February 3, 2015, that Burma’s Parliament (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) had passed a law the day before granting temporary citizens in Burma the right to vote in a constitutional referendum expected to be held in May 2015, before general elections scheduled for the fall. (Lawi Weng, ‘White Card’ Holders Eligible […]

Burma: Pledge to Consider Amending Constitutional Provision Giving Military the Power to Veto Amendments

(Nov. 3, 2014) It was reported on November 2, 2014, that Myanmar’s parliament, the Assembly of the Union (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) will consider amending the country’s Constitution before key October 2015 elections. The step towards constitutional reform was taken in “unprecedented talks between President Thein Sein and his political rivals,” including opposition leader and Nobel Prize […]

Burma; United Nations: Experts Oppose Draft Law on Religious Conversion

(June 26, 2014) On June 20, 2014, independent human rights experts from the United Nations asked Burma not to go ahead with a proposed law that would restrict religious conversion in the predominantly Buddhist country. The proposal would make conversions difficult by creating a process of application and approval for those wanting to change faiths. […]

Burma: Consumer Protection Law Adopted

(Mar. 21, 2014) On March 14, 2014, Burma’s Union Parliament passed a Law on Consumer Protection, the country’s first law comprehensively addressing this topic. President Thein Sein has signed the legislation. The law is divided into 12 chapters. It has provisions on the rights and responsibilities of both manufacturers and consumers. It establishes a Committee […]

Burma: Law Purporting to Protect Race and Religion Proposed

(Mar. 17, 2014) In response to a petition signed by 1.3 million people, on March 7, 2014, Burmese President Thein Sein called for a new commission to work with the high court to write a law on protection of race and religion. He had forwarded versions of several laws, created by lawyers working with Buddhist […]

Burma: Proposal to Monitor Court Cases

(Sept. 13, 2013) Thura Aung Ko, a legislator in Burma’s (Myanmar’s) parliament, announced on September 7, 2013, that legislation will be drafted to create groups to monitor judicial proceedings. The purpose, according to Aung Ko, is to end corruption in the court system; it is not designed, the legislator asserted, to interfere with the independence […]