Scoop Independent News, “Burma Regime Denounced For Giving Selves Immunity”

Scoop Independent News publishes an article titled "Burma Regime Denounced for Giving Selves Immunity".

This article focuses on international law organizations (Burma Lawyers' Council, Global Justice Center and Burma Justice Committee) calling for a better constitution for Burma, and a criminal investigation into the crimes committed under the military regime. This constitution will not bring lasting democracy or peace.

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International Lawyers Denounce Attempt by Myanmar Regime to Give Themselves Immunity from Criminal Prosecutions and Renew Call for Criminal Investigation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—April 14, 2008

[MAE SOD, THAILAND] The Myanmar regime, guilty of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, has revealed that it is seeking to give itself constitutional immunity from prosecution for those crimes. The Burma Lawyers’ Council, the Global Justice Center and the Burma Justice Committee denounce this attempt by the regime to avoid accountability. The recently distributed final version of the Constitution being put to a “referendum” on May 10th, 2008 now includes in Chapter XIV “Transitory Provisions,” Article No. 445, stating, “No legal action shall be taken against those (either individuals or groups who are members of SLORC and SPDC) who officially carried out their duties according to their responsibilities.” This immunity is invalid under international law and cannot be accepted by the international community.

Washington Post: "Justice in Burma"

Check out an article by Janet Benshoof, Founder and President of GJC, in which she talks about Fred Hiatt's op-ed column and the violence of the military juntas in Burma. 

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Justice in Burma

The Washington Post publishes an article by GJC founder and president Janet Benshoof, titled "Justice in Burma."

This article responds to Fred Hiatt's Op-Ed on Burma, and explains why it would be wrong to make compromises for the military juntas; the people of Burma deserve access to the ICC, along with full investigations and justice.

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Lawyers call for criminal accountability for SPDC regime

The Nation publishes several Op-Eds by lawyers, calling for criminal accountability in the SPDC regime.

The first Op-Ed in this collection is one co-authored by Janet Benshoof, founder and president of GJC, and U Aung Htoo, of Burma Lawyers, titled "The Burma Lawyers Council and the Global Justice Center urge the United Nations Security Council to take all actions necessary to stop the murders of innocent people in Burma and hold the military junta commanders criminally accountable".

There are six other Op-Eds included as well.

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The Critical Role of Criminal Accountability in Establishing Rule of Law Based on Gender Equality

There is growing consensus in international law that grave violations of international humanitarian law are a threat to international peace and security and that the world community has a moral and legal duty to intervene if the state is the perpetrator, or cannot or will not stop the crimes. Perpetrators of gender-based crimes must be held accountable in order to ensure a rule  of law based on gender equality. 

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Criminal Accountability for Heinous Crimes in Burma: A Joint Project of the Global Justice Center and the Burma’s Lawyer’s Council

The Global Justice Center and the Burma Lawyers' Council publish, in a joint project, this fact sheet on criminal accountability for heinous crimes in Burma.

This fact sheet gives information on the project on criminal accountability, and states that the Security Council should end the impunity accorded the Burmese military junta for crimes perpetrated against the people of Burma, as well as establish an Independent Commission of Inquiry. The fact sheet also explains the Security Council's Obligation to Act under Chapter VII.

 

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Using International Law in the Struggle for Democracy and Women's Participation in Burma

2006: A fact sheet on how to use international law to improve gender equality and ensure women's participation.

Excerpt:

The effort to achieve peace, security and democracy in Burma (called Myanmar by the current government) is an on-going battle against a repressive and brutal military regime. Burma is presently controlled by the SPDC, a military regime that took over Burma by force and refused to turn over power to the National Democratic League, the democratically elected government led by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Sui Kyi. A major part of the effort to achieve peace, security and democracy in Burma (Myanmar) is the struggle by the women of Burma to change strongly-held ideas about women’s role in society, including the belief that women do not belong in political leadership and should be subordinate to men. Within this movement, the Global Justice Center advises the Women’s League of Burma on how to use international law to ensure the inclusion of women in all aspects of the democracy-building process. In addition, the Global Justice Center looks for new and creative ways to use international law to address the widespread rape of ethnic women by the military.

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Using the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to Advocate for the Political Rights of Women in a Democratic Burma

Article written by GJC Fellow, Andrea Friedman, for the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender on using CEDAW to advocate for gender equality in Burma.

Excerpt:

The military dictatorship ruling Burma has had a firm grip on the country for over forty years.2 Despite authorizing a democratic election in 1990, the junta refused to turn over power, and jailed many elected to office. Forces for a democratic Burma remain strong, although the draconian measures taken by the ruling regime have forced the majority of those fighting for democracy to organize in exile. These groups in exile are joined together by a vital fight to bring peace to Burma after decades of violence, a peace that would enable them to return home. Unfortunately, the inclusion of women in this effort has been pushed aside in the name of a larger struggle, likely with the assumption that equality will be addressed once there is democracy. This assumption undermines democracy itself. Critical to the formation of a democratic Burma is the inclusion of women in all the nation-building steps, such as peace negotiations, transitional governments, constitution drafting, and war-crimes tribunals. Those groups arguing for democracy and the rule of law must live up to their own rhetoric and set the stage for a true democracy by ensuring the inclusion of women.

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