Prof. Michael RAMSDEN has published an article “Accountability for Crimes against the Rohingya: Strategic Litigation in the International Court of Justice” in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (Spring 2021).
In recent years, the use of strategic litigation to secure accountability for atrocity crimes has become an increasingly popular tool in a wide variety of national, regional, and international judicial fora. Strategic litigation is brought not only to obtain a judicial remedy on the issues before the Court in question, but also to act as a catalyst for broader change, with the relevant actors negotiating these changes in the shadow of the litigation. In response to alleged crimes against the Rohingya, The Gambia, acting as a proxy claimant on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (“OIC”), recently took Myanmar to the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) alleging that it bears responsibility under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention”). Placing an important milestone in the OIC’s campaign to secure accountability for alleged crimes against the Rohingya, the ICJ ordered provisional measures, pending a final determination on the merits. These measures require Myanmar to observe its obligations under the Genocide Convention, to preserve evidence, and to report periodically on its progress in implementing the interim order. Tracking the OIC campaign for accountability, this article evaluates the goals and effects of the ICJ case on crimes against the Rohingya. It considers some of the identifiable effects that have arisen from the litigation so far, and notes the adverse consequences that the Genocide Convention’s shadow may inflict on the diplomatic negotiation of the Rohingya situation, which involves a myriad of peace and security imperatives.
Read the full article here.