The Problem with the Crime of Forced Migration as a Loophole to icc Jurisdiction

The ptc’s Decision on Myanmar and the Risk to Vulnerable Populations

In: Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
Kirsten J. Fisher Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada

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In November 2019, the icc’s Pre-Trial Chamber authorized the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation based on a previous decision that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of Rohingya from Myanmar to Bangladesh. While the crime of deportation occurred in Myanmar, which is not a State party to the icc and therefore not within the jurisdiction of the Court without unsc referral, the deportation ended in Bangladesh, which is a State party. Once the Court determined that the State that receives the forcibly displaced can confer jurisdiction, the ground seemed to shift drastically in regards to the possible jurisdictional reach of the icc. This paper explores how this Pre-Trial Chamber decision, reasonably read as extending the Court’s geographic jurisdiction beyond what was intended by the drafters of the Rome Statute, could have negative implications, particularly how this extension could further threaten some of the world’s most vulnerable.

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