Justice Update

Justice Update – Myanmar hit for six at the ICJ

Gambian justice minister Abubacarr Tambadou listens to the ICJ ruling (photo provided by ICJ)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Myanmar must protect the Muslim Rohingya community. Gambia had accused Myanmar of violating the Genocide Convention and had asked for ‘provisional measures’ to prevent any more harm being done.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader, was in the court last month to deny allegations that in 2017 the army had systematically burned Rohingya villages, murdered and raped thousands and forced more than 700,000 of the victims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The Gambia had asked the court to order Myanmar’s government to protect the Rohingya from violence, instruct the army to cease its persecution, preserve all evidence related to the allegations of genocide and submit a report to the court on the measures taken to comply with its orders within four months.

The 17 judges unanimously agreed to most of Gambia’s requests—even Claus Kreß, the German judge appointed by Myanmar.

We got international lawyer Priya Pillai – one of the architects of the new Asia Justice Coalition that has taken up this issue and Melanie O’Brien – from University Western Australia Law School – to tell us their favourite bits and explain a bit more.

If you’d like to read more background from Stephanie, that’s here. And we’ve had a lot of podcasts on this: Priya again on the ICJ flexing it’s muscles; Joe Powderly and Jens Iverson on what are provisional measures and why; Akila Radhakrishnan on the key role gender plays in genocide; us explaining what happening when Aung San Suu Kyi came to The Hague; and Myanmar activists on their lobbying work and motivations.