China and the Uighurs: Options for Legal Accountability

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
Andrew Garwood-Gowers Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia,

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In this contribution the author examines options for legal accountability in relation to possible crimes against humanity and genocide against the Uighurs. While China’s reluctance to accede to international adjudication mechanisms means there are limited avenues for accountability, recent developments in relation to the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over crimes with a transboundary element may open the door to possible investigation and prosecution of Chinese nationals. However, more immediate steps to respond to the situation in Xinjiang will focus on securing access for an independent fact-finding investigation and persuading China to uphold its responsibility to protect.

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