Judicial system needs revamp: lawyer

Myanmar needs to move away from the British legal system it inherited during the colonial era to a judicial system that reflects the nation’s society, culture and traditions, said lawyer U Sein Hla, notary public, high court lawyer and chair of Yangon Region Rule of Law Centres and Justice Sector Coordinating Body Branch.

He made the suggestion at the opening ceremony of the Yangon Region Rule of Law Centres and Justice Sector Coordinating Body Branch at the Yangon Region High Court Hluttaw building on Friday.

“In my opinion, the British system has to be amended. In a court case, the complainants say what they want and the accused also say what they want.

“Both do not submit what they do not want the court to hear. It’s become too difficult to arrive at the truth. I think the system needs to be amended,” he said.

The legal system prescribed during the British era was not the same with Myanmar’s society which did not have a Code of Laws, Penal Law and Order Notifications.

Currently, research is being done to amend the British system of law.

U Sein Hla said a serious study of the way Myanmar’s ancestors dealt with legal issues and rights of individuals has to be undertaken.

The Rule of Law Centres and Justice Sector Coordinating Body Branch is made up of the Yangon Region General Administration Department, the Regional Police Major, the regional High Court staff officer, the regional Attorney General’s office, lawyers and Civil High Court lawyers.

The Coordinating Body is studying the difficulties facing the judiciary and will submit the basic facts on the matter, come up with a strategy, garner public trust, educate the public about the judiciary and will issue information and data on a timely basis.

In criminal law, the case of a person slapping someone’s face is a non-cognizable offence and the person must bring the case to court by himself or herself.

A non-cognisable offence is when a police officer does not have the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and an investigation cannot be initiated without a court order.

In contrast, cases involving loss and theft are cognizable offences.

This concept does not seem to respect the dignity and moral behavior of people and does not reflect Myanmar’s tradition and culture, he said.

The Yangon Region Attorney General’s Office will look into the administration of Justice in the Coordinating Body.

Dr Khin Chit Chit of Yangon University, Law Department and a member of the Coordinating Body will supervise and assess the performances of the Yangon Region Rule of Law Centres and Justice Sector Coordinating Body Branch.

A special committee has been formed that will coordinate the research on the rule of law that is based on Myanmar society and culture.

High Court lawyer U Aung Soe said he expects the committee to carry out its work successfully.

Source : Myanmar Times

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