Coalition for 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 into crimes committed against the Rohingya on or after 1 June 2010.

The Judges also 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 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.

According to the supporting materials presented by the ICC Prosecutor in July, between 600,000 to one million, Rohingya were forcibly displaced from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.

Many civil organizations welcomed the ICC PTC III decision. Read their statements below:

“The ICC Judges’ decision has provided the Rohingya with renewed hope that the architects of the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign against them may one day be held to account,” said Param-Preet Singh, Associate Director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch.

“A decision like this will hopefully, prevent the commission of further crimes against Rohingya and will bring justice to the victims of serious crimes in other parts of Myanmar,” stated Adilur Rahman Khan, the Secretary of Odhikar, a Bangladesh-based human rights organization.

"This decision is proof that the Rohingya community has not been forgotten," stated Yasmin Ullah, Activist, Rohingya Human Rights Network.
"This is the first step towards protecting people and preventing further crimes against humanity from being committed against the Rohingya civilians," Ms. Ullah continued. 

“We hope that the Rohingya people can take some solace that finally someone has listened and heard their suffering – first, The Gambia in its International Court of Justice (ICJ) filing and now, the ICC,” stated Alison Smith, Director of the International Criminal Justice Program for No Peace Without Justice.
 “We urge the ICC to ensure that the Rohingya are kept fully engaged in this case by immediately developing and implementing proper outreach for this situation,” Ms. Smith continued.

"It is time for the International Community to concretely support the efforts of the ICC to put an end to the impunity of the leaders of the Myanmar military regime and its death squads: Ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State of Myanmar must be halted and perpetrators of mass atrocities shall be brought to justice," stated the Convenor of PGA’s International Law and Human Rights Programme, Hon. Kula Segaran, MP (Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources)

"We hope that the investigation will identify a wider range of crimes and fully reflect the large scale and atrocious commission of sexual and gender-based crimes against Rohingya women and children as one of the means to deport the Rohingya population," stated Guissou Jahangiri, FIDH Vice President.



  • In 2010, Bangladesh ratified the Rome Statute.
  • 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).
  • Between 29 May 2018 and 14 June 2018, several organizations and individuals, submitted amici curiae observations in support of the Prosecutor’s request.
  • On 6 September 2018, the PTC I declared the Court’s jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
  • On 18 September 2018, the Prosecutor announced the opening of a preliminary examination.
  • On 4 July 2019, the Prosecutor requested the PTC III to authorize an investigation into the situation.
  • On the same day, victims were informed they express their views on the request, via the submission of ‘representations’ to PTC III until 28 October 2019.
  • On 31 October 2019, the ICC Registry transmitted its final consolidated report on victims’ representations to the PTC III.
  • On 14 November 2019, ICC Judges authorised 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 ("the situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar").

Read factsheet for more information on the case.
Read our previous blog on this issue, The Rohingya Plight at the ICC – Overcoming the Current Challenges for a Stronger Court