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The rule of law is a political ideal today endorsed and promoted worldwide. Or is it? In a significant contribution to the field, Nick Cheesman argues that Myanmar is a country in which the rule of law is 'lexically present but semantically absent'. Charting ideas and practices from British colonial rule through military dictatorship to the present day, Cheesman calls upon political and legal theory to explain how and why institutions animated by a concern for law and order oppose the rule of law. Empirically grounded in both Burmese and English sources, including criminal trial records and wide ranging official documents, Opposing the Rule of Law offers the first significant study of courts in contemporary Myanmar. It sheds new light on the politics of courts during dark times and sharply illuminates the tension between the demand for law and the imperatives of order.Read more
- Offers the first major study of the contemporary court system in Myanmar
- Draws from legal and political theory to explain how and why institutions animated by a concern for law and order oppose the rule of law
- Charts ideas and practices from British colonial rule to military dictatorship and beyond
Reviews & endorsements
"This is a book of 'firsts' in many respects, not least because it is the first major study of courts in Myanmar … [It] will appeal to scholars from a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences, but legal scholars and practitioners working in the global 'industry' of the rule of law need to read this book in particular … Cheesman's [volume] is an invaluable and lasting contribution to scholarship on the rule of law, and an exemplary reminder of how the study of Southeast Asia can illuminate our understanding of the key political ideals of our time."
Melissa Crouch, Contemporary Southeast AsiaSee more reviews
"The book is very well researched with records pertaining to 393 criminal cases in 86 courts at all levels from across Myanmar and is a 'must-read'… It successfully holds the attention of the reader through its easy language and flowing rendition of an otherwise difficult and complex subject of law and justice."
Reshmi Banerjee, Tea Circle (teacircleoxford.com)
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- Date Published: March 2015
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107083189
- length: 338 pages
- dimensions: 231 x 160 x 28 mm
- weight: 0.62kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. How law and order opposes the rule of law
2. Ordering law in the colony
3. Reordering law in the postcolony
4. Subsuming law to order
5. Embodying the law and order ideal
6. Performing order, making money
7. Through disorder, law and order
8. Speaking up for the rule of law
9. Against quietude
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