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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 10 No 2 (2008)

Is Burmese Law Burmese? John Jardine, Em Forchhammer and Legal Orientalism

Andrew Huxley has practised as a barrister in the London Criminal Courts. He has taught in the Law Schools of Oxford, the University of the West Indies, the University of Hong Kong, and Washington and Lee University. He currently teaches at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

During December 1882 and January 1883 the Judicial Commissioner and the Government Archaeologist of British Burma wrote six papers on Burmese law. This article examines the context in which they were written, the claims they made, and the evidence on which those claims rested. Drawing on Kelsen, this article argues that the version of Burmese legal history developed by British colonial authorities during the 1880s was an exercise in legal Orientalism, and was both inaccurate and dishonest.

(2008) 10(2) Asian Law 184

   
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