Union Attorney-General Office
Since the end of the First Anglo-Myanmar war in 1826, the British introduced and exercised a legal system modified on their Common Law Legal System. A Government Advocate General, Government Advocates and Public Prosecutors were appointed to conduct cases for and on behalf of the Government in both criminal and civil cases.
When Myanmar regained her independence in 1948, the Office of the Attorney General was established under the Constitution of the Union of Burma, 1947 and the Attorney General of the Union Act, 1948. The Office of the Attorney General continued to exist when the Revolutionary Council took over the State responsibilities in 1962. At that time, the functions and duties of the Attorney General were to appear for and on behalf of the Government in civil and criminal cases and to tender legal advice to the Government. When the existing administrative mechanism was abolished in 1972, a new Office of the Attorney General was re-established and it was vested to carry out the responsibility for prosecution, tendering legal advice, drafting bills and legal translations. After that, the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma was exercised in 1974 and the Council of People’s Attorney was formed. The Central Law Office, State and Division Law Offices and Township Law Offices were formed under the provisions contained in the law of the Council of People’s Attorney, 1974. When the State Law and Order Restoration Council took over the responsibilities of the State in 1988, the Attorney General Law, 1988 was promulgated and the Office of the Attorney General, State and Division Law Offices, District Law Offices and Township Law Offices were formed. The Branch Office of the Attorney General (Mandalay), two branches of State Law Offices and one branch of Division Law Office were formed.
The Attorney General Law, 2001 was a law that was based on the history, experience and practice of Myanmar to meet the times. It was amended once in 2003.
On 28th October, 2010, the Attorney General of the Union Law was promulgated in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 2008.
On 29th May, 2008, the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was ratified and promulgated by the Referendum. The Attorney General of the Union Law was promulgated in accordance with section 443 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on 28th October, 2010.
Under this law, the Union Attorney General and a Deputy Attorney General were appointed by the President. The Attorney General of the Union is a member of the Union Government and is responsible to the President of the Union.
The Attorney General of the Union was empowered to translate the law under the Attorney General of the Union Law, 2011. The Attorney General of the Union tenders legal advice to the Union Level Organization as to whether or not it should be a party to international conventions and regional agreements, and on matters relating to bilateral or multilateral treaties, memorandums of understanding, memorandums of agreement, local and foreign investment instruments and other instruments. The Attorney General of the Union is the Government Attorney General in criminal cases and appears on behalf of the Government in civil cases in which the Government is involved.
The Union Attorney General appears, on behalf of the Union, in applications to issue writs to the Supreme Court of the Union relating to citizens, the fundamental rights and duties of the citizens under section 378(a) of Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The President appoints the person submitted by the Prime Minister, with the approval of the relevant Hluttaw, as the Advocate General of the Region or State to obtain legal advice and to assign legal responsibilities by the Chief Minister of the Region or State under section 266 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The provisions of the Attorney General of the Union Law are distinctive provisions that are not the same as the previous Attorney General Laws.
Moreover, law officers of the Union Attorney General’s Office and various levels of the Law Office are assigned to carry out various legal research, to compile and publish law books in both the Myanmar and English languages and to compile law journals, law dictionary and other legal research. In addition, the Union Attorney General’s Office is carrying out its important tasks in digital system and implementing some of its functions by the Electronic Project.
The motto “The Legal Profession is a Noble Profession” is regarded as a guidance by the Union Attorney General’s Office for the law officers to follow their systematic and disciplinary obligations in accordance with this ethic.
The badge with the symbol of scale to express fair justice as recognized by the international community and with the word “Law” in blue colour on the white background is specified to be worn as a symbol of Union Attorney General’s Office.
There are four departments in the Union Attorney General’s Office, namely; Legislative Vetting and Advising Department, Legal Advice Department, Prosecution Department and Administration Department. Under the Union Attorney General’s Office, (14) Offices of Advocate General of the Region or State, (68) District Law Offices and (325) Township Law Offices are formed with the post of (996) officials and (2712) staff, altogether (3708) according to the list of 31st January, 2012. The Director General is the Head of all service personnel from the Union Attorney General’s Office and various levels of Law Office.