This article introduces an English version (translator unknown) of a Burmese law report: Judge Hpo Hlaing's ruling in Ma Hla v. Ma Wa, delivered in Mandalay in 1877. The judgement contains a paragraph dealing with the sources of Buddhist Law which appears to be a riposte to work published earlier that year in Lower Burma. That the judge was Burma's leading political philosopher gives special resonance to his views on law. His list of five law reports from the Pali canon and related texts is of interest. A reading is advanced in which the five cases link to Burmese ideas about legal pluralism.
1 I first explored this material at a conference of legal anthropologists at the Max Plank Institut, Halle, in 2005. My thanks to Fernanda Pirie and to the von Benda-Beckmanns.