Building Agreement on Restitution Rights within the Myanmar Peace Process and National Legal Framework – A Manual for Practitioners

This manual outlines proposals for the insertion of housing, land and property restitution rights simultaneously within the context of the ongoing peace process and within broader national legal reform eforts, including work towards a national land law. The paper begins by emphasising that many countries emerging from both conflict and political reform processes have successfully implemented restitution programmes, and that the current, largely piecemeal, eforts towards restitution in Myanmar under the Central Land Grab Reinvestigation Committee processes are simply inadequate in securing restitution rights for everyone in and from Myanmar with a legitimate restitution claim.

The manual proposes that a comprehensive agreement be reached between all relevant stakeholders to establish restitution rights under Myanmar law, and that an independent Myanmar National Restitution Commission be created to receive and decide upon all outstanding restitution claims concerning housing, land and property anywhere within the country.

The various sections of the manual provide detailed analysis of the types of provisions that would need to be included within such agreements, and suggest precise legal language as to how these provisions could be formulated within an eventual comprehensive agreement.

The manual takes the view that the people of Myanmar will be best served if courageous decisions by all involved in the peace and legislative processes lead to the development of a comprehensive restitution process and procedure whereby all outstanding restitution claims can finally be addressed, adjudicated and enforced. Only through such a process can enough justice and clarity be provided within the housing, land and property sectors for the foundations of democracy, economic prosperity and growing security and stability be reached.

Source: Norwegian Refugee Council