Rule by Law and Impunity Undermine Prevention of and Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Myanmar

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Without the rule of law and human rights, upheld by an independent national legal system capable of balancing the power of the executive and military, there can be no safe return for displaced people. Recent government promises to assist returnees to access justice are therefore hollow.

Accountability in international criminal law works on the principle of complementarity; jurisdiction is activated when a signatory state is unable or unwilling to investigate and hold accountable those accused of violations. Despite the politics and signatory status that make action by the International Criminal Court difficult, officials in Myanmar will be uneasy at the latest attempts by lawyers to hold them accountable for deportations to Bangladesh. There have been occasional military court cases and Ad Hoc commissions of enquiry into human rights violations in Myanmar, but none can be seen as genuinely independent and capable of holding high level perpetrators accountable.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationOxford Forum for New Perspectives on Myanmar
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2018

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