“We have lost peace and stability, rule of law, and independent jurisdiction which the true essence of the country.”

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Interview with a legal expert

Housebreaking, bank robbery, street robbery and murder cases are happening even in the daytime across the country under the junta regime. The lack of rule of law and public safety is worsening gradually.

The interview with a legal expert highlights the prevailing situations of rule of law and administrative pressures on jurisdiction sector in the country.

TLT: Could you talk about the ongoing rule of law situation under the Myanmar military regime?

Legal expert: Rule of law means enforcement of the existing law. The rule of law can be measured on the peace and stability of the country, the freedom and safety of citizens. If the country is experiencing the lack of peace and stability, increasing murder cases, and no freedom and personal security of citizens who are living under dreadful experiences. These conditions reflect the lack of rule of law.

TLT: To what extent is the pressure on judiciary pillar of the country? What do you reckon the country’s judiciary sector that does not allow appeal?

Legal expert: The processes of judiciary sector and court proceeding have not changed significantly. However, judges have lost their independent judiciary power. Especially, the judges have no power to release the suspect or defendant from the charges of politics such as 505 (a), the counter-terrorism law, illegl holding of firearms and the Unlawful Association Act although the latter is not found guilty. The judiciary sector is now notorious for this.

TLT: Under the junta regime, police force refuses to file some cases for public. What is your legal perspective on this?

Legal expert: Police are liable for filing the first information report on the criminal cases as per the Burma Police Manual (1-414) even a complaint was made on phone. Any officer who failed to file under this provision may be dismissed from his position.However, the Myanmar Police Force is focusing on arrests related to political affairs, and they are reluctant to file some cases of ordinary people at the moment. They take action against only serious family issues and murder cases. They postponed filing in some common cases of the public, and they also asked for excess number of witnesses and unnecessary evidences for the complaints. They even denied filing some cases against the law. Police failed to carry out their main duties for rule of law, peace and stability of community as they are understaffed, causing considerable challenges for them. They have to perform their duties of security and appear as witnesses at the special courts. They have no enough capacity to perform their duties. This may be a reason for their failure to work for the public effectively. It is unlawful to give money as bribery for filing the case. It is against the law due to reluctance to file the public complaints on phone.

TLT: Do you think if the rule of law has totally disappeared in Myanmar under the military regime?

Legal expert: The rule of law apparently prevails in the country. However, we cannot enjoy its essence and value at present. For example, we see that courts and police station seem to be functioning well. They are performing their duties, to a certain extent. However, we have lost peace and stability, rule of law, and independent jurisdiction which are the true essence of the country.

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