The Oxford Transitional Justice Research Group, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, and the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict’s Programme for International Peace and Security are pleased to welcome you to a discussion of Judge Kriangsak Kittichaisaree’s forthcoming book The Rohingya, Justice and International Law (Routledge 2021).
Judge Kriangsak Kittichaisaree will be joined by discussants Ambassador Stephen Rapp (Blavatnik School of Government) and Dr Priya Pillai (Asia Justice Coalition).
'The Rohingya, Justice and International Law' analyses the ongoing quest for justice for the ethnic ‘Rohingya’, normally residing in Myanmar, in the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and foreign criminal courts as regards genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed against them by Myanmar government officers and leadership. Using the plight of the Rohingya as the case study, the book elaborates the complex legal technicalities and impediments in international courts and foreign domestic criminal courts exercising ‘universal jurisdiction’ over such crimes as well as realpolitik in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. The cases will take years before their eventual conclusion, with multifarious possible scenarios and implications, prior and subsequent thereto especially in light of the coup d’état in Myanmar on 1 February 2021.
Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, PhD (Cantab), is a Judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He has served as Chairperson of the UN International Law Commission’s Working Group on ‘The Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)'; Chairperson of the Working Group on the Administration of Justice at the United Nations; Chairperson/Coordinator of the International Legal Cooperation against Terrorism task force of the Bali Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter-Terrorism set up by 25 countries and the European Union in 2004 in response to the Bali Bombing of 12 October 2002 and subsequent terrorist activities in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond; and Thailand’s Ambassador to Iran, Australia, and the Russian Federation, among others. He has taught at the University of New South Wales, National University of Singapore, Duke University’s Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law, University of Hamburg and IMO International Maritime Law Institute. His publications include International Criminal Law (OUP 2001); Public International Law of Cyberspace(Springer 2017); The Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute (OUP 2018); International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy (Edward Elgar Publishing 2020); and The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (OUP, Jan 2021). He was a Visiting Fellow of Mansfield College and research visitor at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford University in 2018.
Stephen Rapp is Senior Visiting Fellow of Practice with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict’s Programme on International Peace and Security. At the Blavatnik School, he is co-leading a new research and stakeholder consultation project to develop policy proposals to strengthen global capacity to gather and preserve evidence of criminal responsibility of the most serious violations of human rights. He also currently serves as Distinguished Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide, and as Chair of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, which has collected and analysed more than 750,000 pages of documentation from Syria and Iraq to prepare cases for future prosecution. Ambassador Rapp was the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2009, where he led the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. From 2001 to 2007, he served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he headed the trial team that achieved the first convictions in history of leaders of the mass media for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
Dr Priya Pillai is an international lawyer and heads the Asia Justice Coalition secretariat, a network of organizations focused on justice and accountability in Asia. With two decades of legal experience, Dr Pillai has worked at various national and international institutions, including the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) headquarters in Geneva. She holds a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute, Geneva and is a contributing editor at the international law blog Opinio Juris. Dr Pillai consults and advocates on various aspects of international law, and has most recently contributed to the work of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response on treaty law.