Legal battlefields on Myanmar

Multiple and very diverse procedures are undergoing to address the crimes committed against Myanmar’s Rohingyas. The proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are back in the spotlight but there is a knotty issue, say our partners at Asymmetrical Haircuts in their latest podcast: who will represent the country before the ICJ after the military took power again last year? On another front, Rohingya refugees in the UK and the US are suing Facebook for disseminating and amplifying hate speech and failing to act despite warnings. In this class action they are demanding more than 150 billion dollars in compensation. And on top of the Myanmar case before the International Criminal Court, there is another criminal suit for war crimes opened in Argentina under the principals of universal jurisdiction. Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg have two guests to guide us throughout this multifaceted legal battlefield to go after Myanmar’s generals.

Protesters step on portraits of Myanmar's armed forces chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
1 min 35Approximate reading time

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Myanmar is back in our sights: the case at the International Court of Justice where Gambia has challenged Myanmar over genocide during the 2017 military crackdown against the Rohingya muslim minority is about to hold some hearings over some preliminary objections.

What has gotten people talking is the knotty issue of who represents the country at international fora – like the ICJ. Since the military took power again last year and is bloodily putting down demonstrations, the junta is not getting traction at international organisations, and there’s a National Unity Government in exile that is objecting fiercely to any recognition of the generals.

Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center in New York (and previously our guest on podcast about how gender issues could be part of a genocide case), lays out the tricky diplomatic and justice issues.

Meanwhile, we round up a variety of Myanmar international court cases, including one brought by Rohingya refugees in the UK and US who say the social media giant Facebook allowed hate speech against them to spread. They are demanding more than $150bn in compensation. And we cover the universal jurisdiction war crimes case in Argentina. Our guide to how all these varieties of procedures interconnect is international lawyer Priya Pillai.

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.