22 July 2022 – Today’s decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to reject Myanmar’s preliminary objections in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (The Gambia v. Myanmar) is of great importance – not just to the people of Myanmar, but also to the development of international law and to defining the obligation of States that have signed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Today’s ruling means the ICJ will next consider the parties arguments concerning the merits of the case – that is, The Gambia’s allegations that Myanmar has failed to fulfill its obligations to prevent and punish acts of genocide committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar as required under the Convention.
The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar is mandated to assist in efforts to bring about justice for serious international crimes committed in Myanmar, with the Human Rights Council explicitly calling for our cooperation with the ICJ in its resolution 43/26. We will continue to share materials relevant to these proceedings with both Myanmar and The Gambia, provided that we have the consent of those that provided the information and that we are confident that disclosure will not endanger the security or privacy of any individual.
We believe it is critical that the judges who will decide this very important case have the best evidence available to enable them to determine the true facts about what has happened and the current situation in Rakhine state. Now, almost five years after the mass exodus of Rohingya from Rakhine state in 2017, hundreds of thousands remain living as refugees, and many place great hope in these ICJ proceedings.
The Mechanism collects, preserves and analyses evidence of violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011 regardless of the race, religion, ethnicity or citizenship of the perpetrators or of the victims. Should anyone have information relevant to these proceedings, you can contact us confidentially via secure channels, as described on our contact page.