Bangladesh (Bangladesh/Myanmar)

On 14 November 2019, the ICC opened an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity, such as deportation, acts of persecution and other inhumane acts, committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya population on or after 1 June 2010.
Situation phase: 
Enquête - en cours
Regions: 
Asia-Pacific
Bangladesh ratified the Rome Statute in 2010. On 9 April 2018, the Prosecutor requested the ICC Judges to determine whether it could exercise its jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar (Non-State Party) to Bangladesh (State Party). On 6 September 2018, the PTC I declared the Court’s jurisdiction over the alleged deportation. On 18 September 2018, the Prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary examination and on 4 July 2019, the Prosecutor requested the PTC III to authorize an investigation on alleged crimes against humanity, such as deportation, other inhumane acts and persecution, committed against the civilian Rohingya population in Myanmar in the period since 9 October 2016. On 14 November 2019, ICC Judges authorized the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for the alleged crimes within the ICC's jurisdiction in the Situation in the People's Republic of Bangladesh/Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
ICC situation

The Rohingya Plight at the ICC

On 14 November 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered its decision authorizing the Prosecutor to open an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity, such as deportation, acts of persecution and other inhumane acts, committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya population on or after 1 June 2010.

The Judges agreed with the ICC Prosecutor that there were no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation into the situation would not be in the interest of justice and highlighted the unanimous calls expressed by victims’ for an investigation into the situation. The Judges also stated that even though Myanmar is not a State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC had jurisdiction over crimes that were partially committed on the territory of a State Party, such as, in this situation, Bangladesh. This decision comes after the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, requested on 4 July 2019 that the PTC III authorize an investigation into the deportation, acts of persecution and other inhumane acts committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya population.

As a non-State Party, Myanmar will likely not cooperate with the Court in matters such as the gathering of evidence, the protection of victims and witnesses or the execution of arrest warrants. Also, given the current situation, any effort by the ICC to provide justice to victims in Myanmar would not encompass all crimes allegedly committed against the Rohingya, but only those cross-border crimes allegedly committed, at least partially, in Bangladesh.

Civil society advocacy

Coalition members such as Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice (WIGJ), the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ), and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), as well as other civil society organization, submitted a number of amici curiae briefs, to help the Court in considering whether the ICC had jurisdiction over crimes committed against the Rohingya.

These submissions were repeatedly cited by the PTC throughout its reasoning in the jurisdiction decision, suggesting that civil society’s unique perspective assisted the Chamber in making an informed decision.

Campaign for global justice

Rome statute status: 
Ratified/acceded (ICC member state)
Agreement on Privileges an Immunities of the ICC
Neither signed nor ratified/acceded
Crime of agression
Not ratified
23 March 2010
Article 8
Not ratified