Justice for Rohingya: On International
Court of Justice ruling (The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2: International Relation
Prelims level : International Court of Justice
Mains level : Important international organisation and their disputes redressal
- The unanimous ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on
Thursday, on the prevention of alleged acts of genocide against Rohingya
Muslims has finally pinned legal responsibility on Myanmar’s government for
the military’s large-scale excesses of 2017.
Highlights about the ruling:
- The Hague court’s stipulation that the civilian government of Ms. Suu
Kyi submit an update, within four months, of the steps it has taken to
preserve evidence of the systemic brutalities.
- Yangon has also been asked to furnish six-monthly reports thereafter,
until the conclusion of the case, which relates to genocide accusations.
- The court has further emphasised that an estimated 600,000 Rohingya
resident in Myanmar still remained highly vulnerable to attacks from the
- The ruling vindicates findings by the UN and human rights groups on the
prevalence of hate speech, mass atrocities of rape and extra-judicial
killings, and torching of villages in Myanmar’s Rakhine province, leading to
the forced migration of thousands to Bangladesh.
- The ruling pertains to the Gambia’s suit on behalf of the Organisation
of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), alleging that the brutalities by the defence
services amounted to crimes of genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention.
- Arguing the defence in person during the three-day public hearings last
month, Ms. Suu Kyi, who was elected in 2016, insisted that the 2017 violence
was proportionate to the threat of insurgency.
- She even questioned the Gambia’s standing to bring the suit, saying that
there was no bilateral dispute.
Arguments from the Myanmar’s government:
- Rejecting the ICJ’s ruling, Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry has accused
rights groups of presenting the Court with a distorted picture of the
- In a statement, it defended the army’s action as a legitimate response
to violations of the law by the insurgent Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.
- However, the above claim is at odds with the findings this week of an
Independent Commission of Enquiry established by the government.
Acknowledged by the commission:
- The Commission acknowledged that war crimes had indeed been committed
during the military campaign, when about 900 people were killed.
- But there was nothing to back the assertions of gang-rape, or evidence
to presume any intent of genocide, it held.
- Although it could take years before the court pronounces the final
verdict in the genocide case, Thursday’s injunction is an important victory
for the refugees languishing in Bangladeshi camps.
- It empowers the UN Security Council to prevail upon Myanmar to take
appropriate measures for the rehabilitation and repatriation of displaced
- As the biggest regional player, China could play a constructive role to
ensure a speedy return to normalcy in its neighbourhood.
- India has its own interests in an amicable resolution of Myanmar’s
- Above all, finding closure to the current dispute would mark the
completion of Myanmar’s return to civilian rule.
Q.1) With reference to the Irrawaddy dolphins, consider the following
1. The population in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoonal
2. It is listed as vulnerable on IUCN Red list.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1) Describe the significance of the ICJ’s ruling on military excesses
in Myanmar on Rohingya refugees. Do you think India can be benefitted by this