Panel discussion - The Rule of Law in Myanmar: Challenges and Prospects, 17 January 2013


View the photo gallery for this event on the IBAHRI Facebook page or via Flickr

The launch of the IBAHRI fact-finding report The Rule of Law in Myanmar: Challenges and Prospects took place on 17 January 2013, at the Law Society of England and Wales.Moderated by Owen Bennett-Jones, British journalist and presenter of Newshour on BBC World Service, the expert panel comprised members of the IBAHRI fact-finding delegation: Judge Philippe Kirsch OC QC, former president of the International Criminal Court, Canada, Professor Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, former Director of Public Prosecutions of New South Wales, Australia; and Sadakat Kadri, Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, UK  and the mission rapporteur.

The panel discussed the main findings and recommendations of the report and their impressions of the reform process, following their visit to Myanmar in August 2012. Click here to read more about the fact-finding mission. All panellists expressed views that there is genuine interest in reform in Myanmar, coming from the top. While there is a long way to go, the panel was unified in stating that it was headed in the right direction. However, the panel warned that there were dangers in moving too quickly, stressing that reform must be realistically paced. Further challenges to reform presented by the panel, were the lack of mechanisms in place to enforce the newly granted rights to Myanmar citizens.Panellists answered questions on legislative reform, parliamentary committees, the newly established Human Rights Commission, accountability for past crimes, the release of political prisoners, the independence of the judiciary, and the role of the prosecutor and of the wider legal profession, including the local bar associations.

Panel discussion:

Q & A session: