Myanmar and the Rohingya momentum: what did we hear at the Peace Palace this week?

This week, in a very high-profile International Court of Justice hearing in Den Haag, Gambia asked the UN court to order Myanmar to stop what they denounced as “an ongoing genocide” of the Rohingya muslim minority. Driven by such exceptional international justice moment, our two energetic correspondents and partners of Asymmetrical Haircuts report and vividly discuss and analyze the event, with chosen sound bites of the “back and forth” of renowned scholar William Schabas representing Myanmar on the question of whether or not there was genocide; of the Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi admitting that “disproportionate force” could have been used by security forces; on the involvement of Gambia in the wake of its own transitional justice momentum. Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg clarify and emphasize arguments from both sides, while supporters outside and worldwide were watching the ICJ, as stressed by Gambia’s lawyer Philippe Sands. Here is the best way to live again and appreciate what happened at the Peace Palace: listen to this new podcast, produced in partnership with Justice Info.

Myanmar and the Rohingya momentum: what did we hear at the Peace Palace this week?©Koen VAN WEEL / ANP / AFP
Aung San Suu Kyi before the United Nations International Court of Justice on 11 December 2019 at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
1 min 36Approximate reading time

To listen to the podcast, click on the "play" button below:

Much has been tweeted and much has been blogged about this extraordinary week at the International Court of Justice. The Hague became a battleground for competing shouting matches from both Rohingya activists and pro-Myanmar government activists from around the world. And inside the Peace Palace, the lawyers argued about Gambia’s request for provisional measures against Myanmar under the Genocide Convention.

Stephanie was run off her feet supplying the insatiable maw of news agency demands, while Janet hung out with lobbyists and supporters to take the temperature of the public debate.

Here are a few links, and enjoy the ‘cast!

Leiden’s Joe Powderly (AH star) predicts Aug Sang Suu Kyi’s day of reckoning may have come. And Stephanie points out how important this case is legally.

Day 1 from international lawyer (and AH star) Priya Pillai on the legal blog Opinio Juris, Day 2 from Priya Pillai, Day 3 from Priya Pillai.

Priya Pillai (again) in a discussion on alJazeera.

Janet moderates a panel with Rohingya activists for No Peace Without Justice. And theres’s this profile of Myanmar’s main lawyer William Schabas, that Stephanie helped to write for Reuters.

Asymmetrical Haircuts podcastASYMMETRICAL HAIRCUTS

This podcast has been published as part of a partnership between and Asymmetrical Haircuts, a podcast on international justice produced from The Hague by journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg, who retain full control and independence over the contents of the podcast.