ICJ Verdict | The Daily Star

Myanmar on the dock

International Court of Justice orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya population

Live Update

  • Myanmar Rohingya ICJ ruling, live from the Hague
  • What the World Court is saying on the Rohingya genocide case

    The United Nations’ highest tribunal is delivering its decision on whether emergency measures are required to prevent Myanmar conducting genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority. ICJ Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf is delivering the order. Below are some key updates as they are coming through:

  • The court is required to check whether the actions fall under the provisions of the genocidal convention. The existence of a dispute is a matter of objective determination by the court.

  • Killings, sexual violation, torture cruel treatment, denial of access to food--all with the intent to destroy the Rohingya group--in The Gambia’s view all this is genocide. The court finds therefore that the aforementioned elements are adequate to establish a prima facie case under the provisions of the genocide convention.

  • Myanmar’s reservation to Article 8 does not appear to deprive the Gambia of the possibility to seize the court under Article 9 of the convention.

  • The court has jurisdiction to deal with the case. The court cannot accede to Myanmar’s request that the case be removed from Myanmar’s list.

  • The contracting state did not have any interest of their own. They only had one common interest--shared values with all the states, party to the genocide convention. Each state party has an interest with these provisions in any given case. Any state party, and not only a specially affected state may invoke the responsibility of another state regarding its failure to comply with the provision and to bring that failure to an end.

  • Regarding what Myanmar refers to clearance operations, the court notes: it cannot be ruled out that disproportionate force was used by security services, that they did not distinguish clearly enough between ARSA and civilians and that there may have been failures to prevent looting and destruction afterwards.

  • The general assembly condemned the disproportionate force used by security forces and the exodus of Rohingyas to Bangladesh, and the subsequent depopulation of the Rakhine state. In this connection the court recalls the fact-finding mission which the General Assembly refers, states in its report that it had reasonable ground to conclude that serious crimes under international law has been committed, including the crime of genocide against the Rohingya.

  • The court considers that by their very nature the first three provisional measures being sought by the Gambia falls under the genocide convention.

  • There is a link between the rights and some provisional measures but not all. With regards to the fourth and fifth provisional measures requested by The Gambia, the rights does not arise. The sixth provisional measure is not necessary.

  • The court considers that prejudice against the Rohingyas is capable of causing irreparable harm. 

  • The court is of the opinion that the Rohingya remains extremely vulnerable.

  • The court takes note of the statement of Myanmar during the oral proceedings that it is currently focusing on rehabilitation, and that it intends to promote reconciliation. That it intends of make its military accountable. However, these steps do not appear sufficient in view of the court. 

  • The court notes that Myanmar has not presented to the court concrete measures aimed at specifically recognising the right of the Rohingya to exist as a protected group.

  • The court observes that irrespective of the situation faced by the Myanmar government, Myanmar remains under the obligation as a state party to the genocide convention. They must prevent and punish genocide independently of the context of situation faced by Myanmar in Rakhine

  • The court concludes that the conditions needed to provide provisional measures are met.

  • The court finds that the measures to be indicated need not be identical to those requested. 

  • Court issues Provisional Measures

    Bearing in mind Myanmar’s duty to comply to the genocide convention, the court considers that Myanmar must take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article 2 of the convention, especially killing, causing bodily harm, inflicting on the group conditions meant to bring physical destruction

  • Ensure its military and any regular armed unit do not commit any act of genocide, or conspiracy to commit genocide.

  • Myanmar must submit a report to the court of all measures taken within 4 months. And thereafter for every 6 months, until a final decision by the court.

  • The court does not deem it necessary that any measure is needed regarding aggravation of dispute between the parties.

  • The court reaffirms that the decision given in the proceedings prejudges the ability of the court to deal with the merits of the case. It leaves unaffected the rights of the governments of Gambia and Myanmar to submit arguments in respect of those questions.

img

Myanmar on the dock

International Court of Justice orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya population

Live Update

  • Myanmar Rohingya ICJ ruling, live from the Hague
  • What the World Court is saying on the Rohingya genocide case

    The United Nations’ highest tribunal is delivering its decision on whether emergency measures are required to prevent Myanmar conducting genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority. ICJ Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf is delivering the order. Below are some key updates as they are coming through:

  • The court is required to check whether the actions fall under the provisions of the genocidal convention. The existence of a dispute is a matter of objective determination by the court.

  • Killings, sexual violation, torture cruel treatment, denial of access to food--all with the intent to destroy the Rohingya group--in The Gambia’s view all this is genocide. The court finds therefore that the aforementioned elements are adequate to establish a prima facie case under the provisions of the genocide convention.

  • Myanmar’s reservation to Article 8 does not appear to deprive the Gambia of the possibility to seize the court under Article 9 of the convention.

  • The court has jurisdiction to deal with the case. The court cannot accede to Myanmar’s request that the case be removed from Myanmar’s list.

  • The contracting state did not have any interest of their own. They only had one common interest--shared values with all the states, party to the genocide convention. Each state party has an interest with these provisions in any given case. Any state party, and not only a specially affected state may invoke the responsibility of another state regarding its failure to comply with the provision and to bring that failure to an end.

  • Regarding what Myanmar refers to clearance operations, the court notes: it cannot be ruled out that disproportionate force was used by security services, that they did not distinguish clearly enough between ARSA and civilians and that there may have been failures to prevent looting and destruction afterwards.

  • The general assembly condemned the disproportionate force used by security forces and the exodus of Rohingyas to Bangladesh, and the subsequent depopulation of the Rakhine state. In this connection the court recalls the fact-finding mission which the General Assembly refers, states in its report that it had reasonable ground to conclude that serious crimes under international law has been committed, including the crime of genocide against the Rohingya.

  • The court considers that by their very nature the first three provisional measures being sought by the Gambia falls under the genocide convention.

  • There is a link between the rights and some provisional measures but not all. With regards to the fourth and fifth provisional measures requested by The Gambia, the rights does not arise. The sixth provisional measure is not necessary.

  • The court considers that prejudice against the Rohingyas is capable of causing irreparable harm. 

  • The court is of the opinion that the Rohingya remains extremely vulnerable.

  • The court takes note of the statement of Myanmar during the oral proceedings that it is currently focusing on rehabilitation, and that it intends to promote reconciliation. That it intends of make its military accountable. However, these steps do not appear sufficient in view of the court. 

  • The court notes that Myanmar has not presented to the court concrete measures aimed at specifically recognising the right of the Rohingya to exist as a protected group.

  • The court observes that irrespective of the situation faced by the Myanmar government, Myanmar remains under the obligation as a state party to the genocide convention. They must prevent and punish genocide independently of the context of situation faced by Myanmar in Rakhine

  • The court concludes that the conditions needed to provide provisional measures are met.

  • The court finds that the measures to be indicated need not be identical to those requested. 

  • Court issues Provisional Measures

    Bearing in mind Myanmar’s duty to comply to the genocide convention, the court considers that Myanmar must take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article 2 of the convention, especially killing, causing bodily harm, inflicting on the group conditions meant to bring physical destruction

  • Ensure its military and any regular armed unit do not commit any act of genocide, or conspiracy to commit genocide.

  • Myanmar must submit a report to the court of all measures taken within 4 months. And thereafter for every 6 months, until a final decision by the court.

  • The court does not deem it necessary that any measure is needed regarding aggravation of dispute between the parties.

  • The court reaffirms that the decision given in the proceedings prejudges the ability of the court to deal with the merits of the case. It leaves unaffected the rights of the governments of Gambia and Myanmar to submit arguments in respect of those questions.

Online

ICJ’s order to Myanmar offers hope to the Rohingyas’ future

In an opinion published in Al Jazeera on February 7, Tun Khin, president of Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, expressed the view that the International Court of Justice’s order that Myanmar has to do all it can to prevent genocide offers the persecuted Rohingya minority people hope for the future.

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