Justice Update – Myanmar

ICJ presiding judge Joan Donoghue

Myanmar is back in our sights: the case at the International Court of Justice where Gambia has challenged Myanmar over genocide during the 2017 military crackdown against the Rohingya muslim minority is about to hold some hearings over some preliminary objections.

What has gotten people talking is the knotty issue of who represents the country at international fora – like the ICJ. Since the military took power again last year and is bloodily putting down demonstrations, the junta is not getting traction at international organisations, and there’s a National Unity Government in exile that is objecting fiercely to any recognition of the generals.

 Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center in New York (and previously our guest on podcast about how gender issues could be part of a genocide case), lays out the tricky diplomatic and justice issues.

Meanwhile, we round up a variety of Myanmar international court cases, including one brought by Rohingya refugees in the UK and US who say the social media giant Facebook allowed hate speech against them to spread. They are demanding more than $150bn in compensation. And we cover the universal jurisdiction war crimes case in Argentina. Our guide to how all these varieties of procedures interconnect is international lawyer Priya Pillai. She’s a big friend of the podcast since first discussing the ICJ and how it works here, and re-appearing several times including to talk through what we need in an ICC prosecutor here.


This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.