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The Significance of Everyday Access to Justice in Myanmar’s Transition to Democracy

dc.contributor.authorHelene Maria Kyed
dc.contributor.authorArdeth Maung Thawnghmung
dc.contributor.editorOoi Kee Beng
dc.description.abstractA wide range of justice providers, co-existing with the official legal system, operates in Myanmar. While the state’s is legally the only court system in the country and customary laws and ethnic justice systems are not recognized, it does not enjoy a monopoly in the actual resolution of most cases. Ordinary people distrust and fear the official system and perceive courts as expensive, slow, distant, intrusive, and therefore the least preferred option in efforts to seek justice. As a result, village elders, religious leaders, and such local administrators as ward, village or village tract leaders are the main providers of everyday justice. In ceasefire and conflict-affected areas, the justice systems of ethnic armed organizations also play a pervasive role. Recognizing this pluralism is particularly important because the vast majority of people across ethnicities and in both rural and urban areas of Myanmar prefer seeking solutions to disputes through local informal mechanisms, and between 70 and 90 per cent of respondents in recent surveys say that disputes are best resolved within their own communities. But be that as it may, systems of justice at the community level have not received much attention from scholars and the policy community. This paper draws information and data from research undertaken as part of the “Everyday Justice and Security in the Myanmar Transition” (EverJust) project between 2016 and 2018.5 This was based on interviews with more than 400 people on observation of dispute resolution and on a quantitative survey of 602 respondents in selected villages and wards of Yangon, Karen State and Mon State. These include non-conflict areas administered by the Myanmar government, areas under the de facto governance of the main ethnic armed organizations in Karen and Mon States, and areas that are conflict-affected or under mixed governance.
dc.publisherISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute
dc.titleThe Significance of Everyday Access to Justice in Myanmar’s Transition to Democracy
dc.subject.expertGood Governance
dc.subject.expertPolitical Leadership
dc.subject.expertPublic Administration
dc.subject.expertBusiness Ethics
dc.subject.expertCorporate Governance Reform
dc.subject.expertGovernance Approach
dc.subject.expertGovernance Quality
dc.subject.expertPublic Sector Projects
dc.subject.expertPublic Sector Reform
dc.subject.expertPolitical Leadership
dc.subject.expertPolitical Power
dc.subject.expertInstitutional Framework
dc.subject.expertGovernment accounting
dc.subject.adbInstitutional Framework
dc.subject.adbPublic Administration
dc.subject.adbBusiness Ethics
dc.subject.adbPolitical Leadership
dc.subject.adbPublic enterprises
dc.subject.adbPublic finance
dc.subject.adbPublic enterprises
dc.subject.naturalCabinet system
dc.subject.naturalCommon good
dc.subject.naturalExecutive power
dc.subject.naturalPolitical obligation
dc.subject.naturalPublic management
dc.subject.naturalGovernment accountability
dc.subject.naturalTransparency in government
dc.subject.naturalPolitical ethics
dc.subject.naturalGovernment spending policy
dc.subject.naturalGovernment services
dc.subject.naturalLocal government
dc.subject.naturalGovernment business enterprises
dc.title.seriesISEAS Trends in Southeast Asia
dc.title.volumeNo. 9
dc.contributor.imprintISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute
oar.themePublic Sector
oar.adminregionSoutheast Asia Region
oar.authorKyed, Helene Maria
oar.authorThawnghmung, Ardeth Maung

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