Evolution of the Conception of Law in Burma and Siam

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Robert Lingat
Thapanan Nipithakul


Overall, the keynote address of Professor R. Lingat or Robert Lingat, “Evolution of the Conception of Law in Burma and Siam”, presented to the Siam Society on Wednesday 9th March 1949, is an attempt by an eminent French legal historian to understand the basic legal concepts influenced by Theravada Buddhist principles that appear in South-East Asia continent, known in the last century as “the land of the Indianised states” In the content of the lecture, Professor Robert Lingat tried to analyze and indicate that both Siam and Myanmar are influenced by Indian civilization. However, they are different from other Indianized countries because both of them have received Theravada Buddhism, not a traditional Indian religion that Robert Lingat often called Hinduism. Professor Robert Lingat began his exploration by focusing on the written historical evidence that remains until the time of the study, in particular, all the legal literature of the people of Burma that has been compiled in different periods. He, then, explored the legal literature that is the work of the Mon people that existed before. Finally, the lecture was finished with an analysis of the same issue for Siam at that time

For students and those who are interested in Thai legal history in present day, this speech of Professor Lingat is an essential body of knowledge that will enrich both of the data and the skill to analyze Thai legal history, if they have already studied and understood Lingat’s work, “Thai Legal History Series textbooks”, especially the “Book 1 Introduction”


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Robert Lingat, and Thapanan Nipithakul. “Evolution of the Conception of Law in Burma and Siam”. Naresuan University Law Journal 13, no. 1 (June 23, 2020): 1-44. Accessed July 9, 2020. https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/lawnujournal/article/view/243636.
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