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Deportation of Rohingya People & the ICC's Jurisdiction over Myanmar

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La Trobe University (Social Sciences Building room 232 - Moot Court)

Plenty Road

Melbourne, VIC 3086

Australia

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Abstract

In the context of forced displacement of approximately 700,000 Rohingya civilians from Myanmar to Bangladesh since late August 2017, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) sought in April 2018 a ruling on whether the Court may exercise jurisdiction over Myanmar, a non-State-Party. After holding a status conference in a closed session but considering several amicus briefs and victims’ submissions, the ICC issued a decision on 6 September 2018 determining that it can exercise jurisdiction over Myanmar on the ground of the ‘crime against humanity of deportation’ of Rohingya people. Although this has been a preliminary ruling which will now trigger a ‘preliminary examination’ by the Prosecutor and hence a formal prosecution cannot yet be granted, the jurisdictional determination by the ICC clearly appears to have broken new ground in jurisprudence, because Myanmar is not a party to the Rome Statute. In this talk, Professor Hoque will discuss the legal and political ramifications of the ICC ruling. He will argue that we should not place much faith in a judicial solution to the humanitarian problem of the Rohingya crisis and genocide. Instead, the responsibility to protect the Rohingya people has to be shared by the international community generally. The ICC ruling may nevertheless serve a great purpose in finding a viable political solution of the problem.

Presenter

Ridwanul HOQUE PhD (London), LLM (Cantab.), LLM (Chittagong), is a Professor of Law at the University of Dhaka. He was a visiting scholar at the Law School of La Trobe University in 2015-2016. He has also held visiting positions at Cornell Law School, Melbourne Law School, and National Law University, Delhi. Professor Hoque specialises in comparative constitutional law and theory with special reference to South Asia. He has been widely consulted on issues of child rights, international labour migration, migrant workers’ rights, and human trafficking. He was involved in a leading role in drafting an amicus brief on behalf of the Bangladeshi Non-Governmental Representatives to the International Criminal Court re the recent jurisdictional proceeding against Myanmar.

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La Trobe University (Social Sciences Building room 232 - Moot Court)

Plenty Road

Melbourne, VIC 3086

Australia

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