The Rohingya jurisdiction decision: a step forward for stopping forced deportations



Publication Details

Colvin, V. & Orchard, P. (2019). The Rohingya jurisdiction decision: a step forward for stopping forced deportations. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 73 (1), 16-21.


The International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber's decision that the Rohingya situation falls within the Rome Statute and can therefore be investigated by the Prosecutor may - on the face of it - not appear to be a significant milestone in achieving accountability against the government of Myanmar and its military, the Tatmadaw. While the Prosecutor has now confirmed that a preliminary examination will be opened examining the deportation of the Rohingya (International Criminal Court 2018c), this will be a slow process. The likelihood of any member of the Myanmar government actually being tried and convicted is low. We suggest, however, that its effects will be broader than just the Rohingya situation for two reasons. The first is that it in effect creates a new referral mechanism for situations of forced deportation. The second is because it helps to both clarify and highlight the international crimes of forced deportation and forcible transfer, which may lead to their prosecution on a more routine basis.

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