Everyday Justice in Myanmar
- Helene Maria Kyed Danish Institute for International Studies
- Lue Htar Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation
- Ardeth Thawnghmung
- hmk (at) diis.dk
- lue.htar (at) emref.org
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Myanmar, like other Southeast Asian countries, is characterized by the co-existence of various informal, yet pervasive, alternative authorities and parallel state formations. This is also seen in the area of justice provision – the topic of this panel. Although, the official judicial system is legally the only recognized system, in practice it constitutes only one among many avenues for seeking remedies in criminal and civil cases. Official state law does not enjoy a monopoly in deciding most cases, but is frequently avoided and supplanted by customary rules, the laws of ethnic armed organizations and cultural-religious norms. This panel will include papers on how ordinary citizens in Myanmar seek justice and try to resolve disputes and crimes following the end of five decades of military rule and protracted armed conflict. Theoretically, the panel will discuss everyday justice provision in relation to broader questions about the dynamics of state formation, identity politics and the constitution of order and authority in a transitional Southeast Asian context. Papers in this panel will draw on in-depth anthropological research from 2016 to 2018, focusing on ethnic minority areas, including Karen, Mon, Naga and Kachin.