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History
Historical Timeline
World's Earliest
               Pondaung Primate

Descendants of
               Pondaung Primate?

Who Helped Build
              4,000,000 Pagodas ?

Ancient Kingdoms
Rise and Falls of
               Myanmar Empires

Ancient Pioneers
How the West knew Myanmar
Rulers : king, queens,
               presidents, PMs, ...

The Heroes
Wars Myanmar Faced
Tradition Legal System
Discovery of Petroleum
Trainees Sent Abroad
               in the 1800s

 
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  Tradition Legal System  
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Monarchical Administration

All the administration systems before modern Myanmar, are all monarchical governments, apart from the colonial governments, of course. Myanmar kings used to hold absolute power, which Myanmars call "thet oo san pine" monarchy system.

The system of constitutional monarchy never existed in Myanmar.


Executive Body

Executive body, as well as law-enforcement body, under Myanmar monarch is mentioned in the following tree.

Administrative Hierarchy:-

  • King

    • the parliament (Hluttaw)

      • ministers

        • mayors (Myosar)

        • town-chiefs (Thanbyin)

          • village-headman (Kalan, Ywarsar)

            • government servant (luhlin kyaw)

 

Legislative Body

Legislative power stays in the hands of the king too.


Judiciary Body

Myanmar kings had the highest judiciary authority in his kingdom. Judiciary authority differs according to the location, type, or value of the cases.

Judiciary Hierarchy:

  • King

  • Supreme Queen

  • Crown-Prince

    • parliament-member princes

    • parliament-member ministers

      • judges appointed by the king

        • mayor (Myosar)

        • town-chief (Thanbyin)

          • village-headman (Kalan, Ywarsar)

 

Civil Law Suits

In the ancient time, the practice of "trial by ordeal" was common. They are:

  • Ordeal by Water: One who can dive longer in water wins the case.

  • Ordeal by Rice: One who can chew same amount of rice faster wins.

  • Ordeal by Lead: Both had to dip their fingers into hot liquid lead just about a second. One who doesn't burn wins the case.

  • Ordeal by Fire: Both had to hold mouthful of water in their mouths. Then 2 identical candles were lit. One who can't hold the water loses. If both can hold until the 2 candles burns out, the amount of water in their mouths had to be measured. One who can hold more water wins.


Criminal Law Suits

There was no such thing as "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" in Myanmar. It looks like Buddhist teachings makes Myanmars gentle by forgiving and avoiding revenge. Most criminal punishments, except for murders, were fines.

 


Death-Sentence

There were only 4 crimes punishable by death-sentence: murder, rebellion, insurgency, and rape. Death sentence varies: beheading, drowning, and shooting by a spear. In the olden days, things are a bit different than today. Nowadays, only death sentence by hanging is practiced. It is a Myanmar belief that all death sentences are to be done at sunsets.

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