To link to this article, copy this persistent link:
(Aug 28, 2013) After a discussion held on August 23, 2013, the Bill Committee of the Upper House of the Parliament of Burma (Myanmar) has called for the cancellation and amendment of certain sections of controversial draft legislation on printing and publishing enterprises. The draft legislation was approved by the Lower House in July. (Parliamentary Bill Committee Calls for Press Bill Amendment, ELEVEN (Aug. 24, 2013).) Aimed at replacing the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Act, the proposed new law was tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2013. (Constance Johnson, Burma: Draft Publishing Law Criticized, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Mar. 7, 2013) [the article has a link to the text of the1962 Act].) As a result of the August 23 discussion, it seems that the Bill Committee will conduct further hearings on the draft law. (Parliamentary Bill Committee Calls for Press Bill Amendment, supra.)
According to an MP from
Furthermore, current law provides that a publisher may concurrently publish three to five journals, so that if one of its journals is found to be in violation of the law, that journal alone would be revoked or terminated. Section 19 of Chapter 6 of the draft law states, however, "[n]o one shall print, publish or distribute any publication or initiate news agency undertakings once the certificate of registration is revoked or suspended for a specified period." (
Another MP pointed out that while the draft law provides that the Ministry of Information must issue the certificate of recognition to an applicant in accord with Chapter 6, a director of a sub-department should be specifically designated in the law as the unit at the higher level to which the application for the certificate of recognition is to be submitted. Section 6 of Chapter 3 of the draft law is unclear as to the position of the official with the authority to issue the certificate. (
The current form of the draft Printing and Publishing Enterprise Bill has continued to meet with criticism outside the legislature as well. Journalists from Burma's interim Press Council threatened to resign if the legislation were passed by the Upper House in the form adopted by the Lower House, and press watchdogs contended that it "threatens to reverse Burma's fragile gains in press freedoms under President Thein Sein's
In addition to the draft printing and publishing enterprise law, draft legislation on the media, public service media, and broadcasting is to be submitted to the Parliament. According to Lower House MP Min Oo, if all of this draft legislation were combined into one draft law, the resulting piece of legislation would be in conformity with international norms. (Parliamentary Bill Committee Calls for Press Bill Amendment, supra.)
|Author:||Wendy Zeldin More by this author|
|Topic:||Freedom of the press More on this topic|
|Jurisdiction:||Burma More about this jurisdiction|
Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.
Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.
The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.
Last updated: 08/28/2013