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Khetarpal, S. P. (1959) Marriage and inheritance in Burmese Buddhist law. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The main purpose of this Thesis is to examine the available evidence on the extent of the influence of Hindu Law in the field of Burmese personal and family law, in so far as the substance is concerned. The principal source of Burmese Law so far as marriage and inheritance is concerned is the customary law of South East Asia. When the British Courts first administered Burmese Law, the tendency, largely owing to the influence of Jardine and Forchammer was to exaggerate the influence of the Indian Law. This was generally resented by Burmese writers, and recently Lingat has suggested that the Hindu influence was limited to the manner of presentation and to isolated texts. It has however been too readily assumed that the Dharmasastras are undeviatingly patriarchal. That this is not the case becomes clear from a study of these texts with which practising Hindu Layers are normally unacquainted and, in this thesis attention has been drawn to Dharmasastra texts and institutions in Ceylon which, it is submitted, at least establish a prima-facie case for part of the substance of the common Law of South East Asia being in part derived from Indian institutions existing before the Brahmanical reaction against Buddhism imposed on the Hindu system the wide spread, rigid, patriachal character which it had when the British first came in contact with it. It also endeavours to set out as clearly as possible, the principles of Burmese Buddhist Law relating to Marriage and Inheritance, as administered by the Courts in Burma since the British annexation. The case law throughout has been brought to date. Chapter I indicates the scope of work, and, chapter II is devoted to the origin of Burmese Buddhist Law, Chapter III sets out the sources of Burmese Buddhist Law, Chapter IV deals with the Dhammathats, Chapter V explains the extent of the application of Burmese Law, Chapter VI deals with Burmese Buddhist Marriages generally. Chapter VII is devoted to consent of parents and guardians in relation to valid marriage. Chapter VIII deals with personal relations of husband and wife. Chapter IX relates to the property of the marriage. Chapter X and XI are devoted to divorce and partition upon divorce respectively. Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI deal with general principles of inheritance, rights of remoter heirs; the orasa, partition, and loss of rights of inheritance. Chapter XVII explains the nature of the estate of the heirs and persons entitled to letters of Administration. The last chapter (XVIII) is a brief summary of the present position of the law as developed by the Courts in Burma.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:01

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