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Title: Legal Assistance on Trial: The International Community and Justice Sector Reform in Myanmar
Authors: Grey, Marcus
Advisors: Flaherty, Martin
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2019
Abstract: Recent attacks on the rule of law in Myanmar, including the politically-motivated imprisonment of journalists and the staggering lack of accountability for military officials involved in the Rohingya genocide, have sparked global outrage. In spite of these blatant failures to uphold the rule of law, foreign governments and NGOs have continued to engage with Myanmar’s burgeoning justice sector institutions. Past studies on Myanmar’s legal development have identified international assistance flows, but none appear to have systematically analyzed their effects. This thesis draws from the literature on political trust to develop a framework for evaluating the effects of legal assistance. Within this framework, legal assistance is assessed based on the extent to which it mitigates justice sector corruption. This thesis finds that by promoting formal legality and integrating the legal profession, legal assistance has rendered Myanmar’s justice sector more likely to resist corruption. Legal assistance, however, has not directly confronted the leading expressions of justice sector corruption, which include politicization and bribery. Overall, the international community is found to have played a positive, albeit narrow, role in promoting rule of law in Myanmar vis-à-vis justice sector assistance.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2019

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