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Saturday May 23 2020
Web Desk

Leading lawyers, scholars analyse Myanmar's upcoming response to ICJ's ruling

Web Desk

A coalition of leading scholars and practitioners in international law presented an analysis into Myanmar’s expected response to the International Court of Justice’s ruling, saying that it will try to make an argument of “war crimes”.

The Center for Global Policy, in a statement, said: "The Gambia brought the case against Myanmar to the ICJ in 2019, arguing Myanmar has not fulfilled its obligations as a member country of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide, which places an obligation on member states to prevent and punish genocide."

The statement observed that while Myanmar has contended that it's military's actions against the Rohingya cannot be considered genocide, "initial court findings indicate a need for more information to conclusively make this ruling".

"Meanwhile, the Rohingya continue to be displaced, living in substandard conditions in a region with the highest population density in the world," the CGP noted.

It said that it has published an analysis of the expected response by Myanmar on May 23 (Saturday) to the ICJ order for provisional measures regarding the treatment of the Rohingya.

The report "No Place for Optimism: Anticipating Myanmar’s First Report to the International Court of Justice", is authored by the CGP's Rohingya Legal Forum (RLF), and is accompanied by a foreword by US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes (1997-2001), Professor David Scheffer – who was a key architect of the Yugoslav tribunals during the Clinton administration, said the statement.

The CGP said that the report states that Myanmar will respond within the timeframe designated and the response will aim to "build a narrative of war crimes that differs from the accusation of genocide".

"It also presents information on what Myanmar has done since the ruling, data related to ongoing atrocities, and a discussion on why Myanmar’s response is likely to be insufficient in meeting the requirements of the ICJ," added the CGP.

Ambassador David Scheffer states in the report: “[Myanmar’s] anticipated report will provide an important milestone in helping the ICJ determine whether genocidal acts have been prevented and evidence of alleged acts of genocide preserved…or whether the government’s report reveals an intention by political and military officials to continue business as usual while claiming it falls outside the ambit of genocide.”