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Pritzker Legal Research Center


Myanmar: Center for International Human Rights

Legal System

Myanmar has a mixed system of common law and customary law. Sources of law include customary law (pertaining to issues such as marriage and divorce, adoption, and succession), English common law, legislation, and judicial decisions. 

Research Process

Use the following strategy to efficiently find laws and cases from Myanmar:
 
Step 1: Consult secondary sources such as journal articles or news articles to familiarize yourself with the topic and identify relevant laws and cases.
 
Step 2: Using a research guide to assist you (including this one), identify relevant resources (e.g., websites, databases) where you can access legal materials from Myanmar.
 
Step 3: Retrieve or search for the foreign legal materials using the suggested resources.
 
Note that Westlaw and Lexis do not provide access to laws and cases from Myanmar. You will need to rely on a combination of free websites (including government websites) and databases to find legal materials from Myanmar. 
 

Research Guides

These research guides are useful starting points for understanding Myanmar's legal system and well as the sources of law in Myanmar. These guides include links to recommended online resources that provide access to legal materials from this country. 

Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008) is the version currently in force. The resources below provide access to the current constitution in both English and Burmese as well as historical versions.

Laws and Cases

If you conduct a Google search to retrieve a copy of a law or case, make sure to evaluate the website's authoritativeness and reputability. Laws and cases from Myanmar are not available on Westlaw or Lexis. 

Older laws and cases may be found in print. If you are looking for older legal materials, see the Myanmar research guides linked above for lists of law reports that you can search for on NUsearch by publication name. 

In addition to checking country-specific databases and websites to find the foreign legal materials you need, subject-specific collections of laws, which collect laws from various countries pertaining to a particular subject, can be useful resources to incorporate into your research process. These resources often have better search capabilities than foreign government websites. For additional suggestions for subject law collections beyond the selected databases listed below, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law - Subject Law Collections on the Web research guide

Customary Law

Customary law primarily concerns family matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and succession. Because customary law is generally unwritten, the best strategy for understanding the role of customary law in a country is to consult books, journal articles, and other secondary sources describing its application. See the Secondary Sources tab of this guide for guidance.