The Supreme Court of the Union is the highest organ of the State Judiciary of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It is the apex of the court system in Myanmar and exists as an independent entity alongside the legislative and executive branches.’
From a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 11 judges, including the Chief Justice may be appointed in the Supreme Court of the Union.
Only the Supreme Court of the Union has original jurisdiction in the following matters:
(a) matters arising out of bilateral treaties concluded by the Union;
(b) other disputes between the Union Government and the Region or State Government except the Constitutional problems;
(c) other disputes among the Regions, among the States, between the Region and the State and between the Union Territory and the Region or the State except Constitutional problems;
(d) piracy, offences committed at international water or airspace, offences committed at ground or international water or airspace by violating the international law;
(e) cases prescribed under any law.
Subject to any provision of the Constitution or any other law, the Supreme Court of the Union, has the jurisdiction on:
(a) the appeal against the judgment, decree or order passed by the Supreme Court of the Union by exercising its original jurisdiction;
(b) the appeal against the judgment, decree or order passed by the High Court of the Region or the State;
(c) the appeal against the judgment, decree or order passed by any other court in accord with law.
The Supreme Court of the Union has the jurisdiction on:
(a) revision in accord with law against the judgment or order passed by a court;
(b) confirming death sentence and appeal against the death sentence;
(c) a case transferred to it by its own decision;
(d) for the transfer of a case from a court to any other court.
Powers of the Supreme Court of the Union
The Supreme Court of the Union is the superior court of record and has supervisory powers over all courts in the Union and its decisions are binding upon all courts.
A case finally and conclusively adjudicated by the Supreme Court of the Union exercising its original jurisdiction, or a case finally and conclusively adjudicated by the Supreme Court of the Union on the final and conclusive decision of any court may, on being admitted for special appeal by the Special Bench in accordance with the procedures, be heard and adjudicated again by the Special Appellate Bench.
The Supreme Court of the Union has the power to issue the following writs:
(a) Writ of Habeas Corpus;
(b) Writ of Mandamus;
(c) Writ of Prohibition;
(d) Writ of Quo Warranto;
(e) Writ of Certiorari.
Recruitment of Judges of Subordinate Courts
Universities in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar produce young men and women with well-rounded legal training. The law degree conferred by the Universities is more professional in form and content than academic. Most of the law graduates take to practice soon after graduation. Some enter judicial service as Judges of the lower courts. Some serve as public prosecutors, called law officers under the Union Attorney-General's Office.
Judiciary in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is a career service. There is a programme for the selection and appointment of judges of subordinate courts at different levels to carry out the judicial functions. According to the programme a candidate for judges of subordinate courts must be a citizen of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, having a good moral character and must have a degree of law from a University. The candidates are selected to appoint deputy township judges by the Supreme Court of the Union.
Those who are selected to become deputy township judges are sent to attend Basic Course for Junior Civil Service Training at the Central Institute of Civil Service. They are also given on the job-training course on criminal, civil ,legal English, court administration and logistics subjects theoretically and practically. On completion of training courses they are appointed as deputy township judges. They are gradually promoted up to district judges and the most fortunate ones to the Director Generals.