23 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B. J. 288 (1948)
The Constitution of the Union of Burma

handle is hein.journals/washlr23 and id is 294 raw text is: FAR EASTERN SECTION
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNION OF BURMA
Sm BENEGAL NARSING RAU*
The Constitution of Burma, which came into force on January 4,
1948, has many features of great interest to the constitution-maker.
In form and content, in magnanimous treatment of special regions and
racial groups, and in speed of enactment, it provides an example well
worth our attention at the present time.
The writer of this article had the honour of being associated closely
with the framers of the Constitution at almost every stage. The Con-
stitutional Adviser of Burma came to Delhi in April, 1947, for dis-
cussion and collection of materials; a first draft of the new Constitution
was then prepared and he took it back with him to Rangoon in May
There it underwent certain modifications and its provisions as so
modified were accepted in substance by the Constituent Assembly of
Burma. A Drafting Committee was then appointed to give it final shape.
The Committee sat for about a fortnight in August and September and
completed its work in time for the final draft to be brought before
the Constituent Assembly about the rmddle of September. The Con-
stituent Assembly passed it on September 24, 1947, with a provision
that it would come into operation on such date as the Provisional
President might announce by proclamation. On December io, 1947,
the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Burma Inde-
pendence Act recogising Burma as an independent country with
effect from January 4, 1948. Accordingly, this date was proclaimed
for the commencement of the new Constitution. Thus the whole process
from start to finish, including the enactment of the Constitution and
of auxiliary legislation (such as the Burma Judiciary Act) by the
Constituent Assembly and of the Independence statute by the British
Parliament occupied no more than about eight months, in spite of the
interruption caused by the assassinations of July, 1947
The Constitution is bilingual in form as required by section 2 17,
that is to say, two copies of it have been made, one in Burmese and
* Constitutional adviser to the Constituent Assembly of India. This article appeared
in the May, 1948 issue of the India Quarterly, which has kindly consented to its repro-
duction in the Washington Law Review.

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