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Myanmar proposes law to scrutinize judicial proceedings

Myanmar's parliament [official website] will draft a bill that forms groups to monitor court proceedings, a lawmaker said Saturday. Thura Aung Ko [campaign profile], the Lower House Judicial Affairs Committee chairman, said that the purpose of the court monitoring bill [Eleven Myanmar report] was to crack down on corruption in Myanmar's judicial system, and stressed that the bill would not compromise judicial independence. Aung Ko also plans to amend laws that currently ban photography and video cameras in courtrooms. It is unclear when the bill and amendments will be introduced.

Myanmar [JURIST news archive] has drawn international attention recently regrading concerns about its human rights record. Last month Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] urged Myanmar's government to revise its draft association laws [JURIST report], which if enacted would require nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to obtain official registration to operate and would impose criminal penalties on NGOs that failed to register. Earlier in August UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Tomas Ojea Quintana applauded [JURIST report] recent government efforts to encourage a culture of respect between clashing political and religious sects but recognized the need for increased government action on a wide array of issues. In July Quntana praised the release [JURIST report] of 73 prisoners of consciousness in Myanmar.

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