Submission to Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar
This submission to the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (“FFMM”) details the structural barriers that impede accountability for perpetrators and preclude justice for victims of human rights abuses in Myanmar. These obstacles, formalized with the “adoption” by a spurious referendum of a new Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (the “Constitution”) in 2008, prevent any full accounting for human rights violations committed by the military (the “Tatmadaw” or “Defense Forces”) in Myanmar. Obstacles outlined in this submission include: (1) constitutional supremacy and autonomy of the military; (2) constitutional guarantees of impunity; (3) military emergency powers; and (4) lack of an independent and accountable judicial system.
Understanding these structural impediments is crucial to understanding the circumstances that give rise to these offenses and lead to the inevitable conclusion that unless these barriers are dismantled, human rights abuses will go unpunished and a true democracy will not take hold in Myanmar. Moreover, a situation of national unrest gives the military great powers under the Constitution capable of emboldening and further empowering the military.