Lectures & Panels The International Court of Justice Case on Genocide in Myanmar


Austin North

black and white image of young person in refugee camp

Philippe Sands, Arsalan Suleman, and Yee Htun discuss the ICJ’s case concerning the Myanmar military’s treatment of the Rohingya.

Event Overview

In November 2019, The Gambia filed a case with the International Court of Justice alleging that Myanmar military had violated the Genocide Convention for years in its treatment of the Muslim minority group, the Rohingya. A United Nations fact-finding mission had found similar patterns of abuse, documenting widespread violations of human rights in Myanmar against minority groups, including crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. The International Court of Justice handed down provisional orders to protect the Rohingya in January 2020. Now, with the backing of all 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, The Gambia’s case against Myanmar will proceed. Please join the Human Rights Program for a conversation with Philippe Sands, Arsalan Suleman, and Yee Htun, to discuss the case and the situation in Myanmar.

Sands is Samuel LLM ’55, SJD ’59 and Judith Pisar Visiting Professor of Law at HLS for Spring 2020, as well as Professor of Law at University College London and a barrister at Matrix Chambers. Suleman is counsel in Foley Hoag’s International Litigation & Arbitration Practice and is the U.S. Department of State’s former Acting Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s second largest international organization after the United Nations. Sands and Suleman represent the Gambia in their case. Htun is a Lecturer on Law and Clinical Instructor in the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School. She specializes on de-escalation and women’s rights in Myanmar. Tyler Giannini, HRP Co-Director and Clinical Professor of Law, will moderate.
Hosted by the Human Rights Program and co-sponsored by the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, and the Harvard University Asia Center.