MCRB Submits Comments on the Draft Work Plan for Drafting the National Land Law
In response to the request for comments, MCRB has submitted comments to the Union Attorney-General’s office on the draft Work Plan for the drafting of the National Land Law.
MCRB provided three comments:
Obtaining the input of business/investors is very important and should be included explicitly in the workplan. MCRB’s consultations on its draft Land Briefing Paper showed that investors, and in particular the commercial lawyers that advise them, have important feedback to give on legal reform. They have direct experience to share concerning problems they have encountered with complying with existing laws, including how these laws prevent investors from operating responsibly and respecting human rights, and how some laws contribute to corruption. International business and lawyers can also be a source of advice on international standards and good practice such as the IFC Performance Standard 5 on Land which guides many international investors who are seeking to be responsible, and which could be usefully reflected in Myanmar’s land laws. MCRB encouraged the UAGO to involve not only UMFCCI but also international Chambers of Commerce based in Myanmar, several of whom have legal or professional services working groups.
Existing and draft laws related to law should be subject to a corruption risk assessment (CRA).
To ensure all views are taken into account, the reform process should be fully transparent, with publication of all documents and a structured and open online consultation process, ideally in English as well as Myanmar, publicised on social and traditional media.
MCRB intends to contribute further substantive comments on land law reform, and the gaps which a National Land Law can fill, based on findings from its sector wide impact assessments (SWIAs) and Briefing Paper for business on Land, Business and Human Rights, a 2nd edition of which will be published shortly.
MCRB also encourages the UAGO’s office to draw on findings in the Chapter on ‘Fostering Secure and Well-Defined Land Rights’ in the forthcoming Investment Policy Review conducted by the OECD at the request of the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA).