Law Council of Australia


Law Council condemns fatal shooting of prominent human rights lawyer U Ko Ni in Myanmar

2 February 2017

Law Council of Australia is deeply concerned by the killing of prominent Muslim lawyer U Ko Ni in Myanmar and joins with the UN and IBA in calling on the Government to openly condemn the act and to carry out a proper, effective and impartial investigation into the killing.

“The fatal shooting of U Ko Ni is a tragic loss to Myanmar and its legal profession, which has already faced one of the darkest periods for the rule of law and administration of justice in modern days,” Ms McLeod said.

“The Myanmar legal profession has been committed to developing the rule of law, particularly in the establishment of the first national, independent professional organisation of lawyers - the Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar (ILAM).

“U Ko Ni was a founding senior member of ILAM, and has been pivotal in the development of the rule of law, access to justice and defence of human rights in the country. In the wake of this tragedy, our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues,” Ms McLeod said.

Reports indicate that U Ko Ni was shot and killed at the Yangon International Airport on 29 January. U Ko Ni, a constitutional law expert and long-time legal adviser to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, stood up for many human rights issues in Myanmar. The Law Council understands that the motive of the attacker is not known at this time.

The Law Council of Australia joins with the recent comments by the UN and the IBA in condemning the disturbing act and calling for an effective investigation.

“It is essential that an impartial and transparent investigation is carried out into this killing and a fair and public trial is held to confront this seemingly targeted and political act,” Ms McLeod said.

“The work of U Ko Ni and the ILAM has created a legacy for years to come by providing the groundwork for a strong, independent and functioning legal system which will continue to grow and prosper.”

The Law Council has long supported the establishment of an independent association of lawyers in Myanmar and the great strides made by the Myanmar legal profession, and will continue its strong support for the ILAM in the aftermath of this unlawful act.

Media contacts:

Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs

P. 02 6246 3715     E. 

Anil Lambert: Media

P. 0416 426 722     E. 


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