A1 Journal article (refereed)
Disentangling Law and Religion in the Rohingya Case at the International Criminal Court (2021)

Pérez-León-Acevedo, J.-P., & Pinto, T. A. (2021). Disentangling Law and Religion in the Rohingya Case at the International Criminal Court. Nordic Journal of Human Rights, 39(4), 458-480. https://doi.org/10.1080/18918131.2021.1997502

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Pérez-León-Acevedo, Juan-Pablo; Pinto, Thiago Alves

Journal or series: Nordic Journal of Human Rights

ISSN: 1891-8131

eISSN: 1891-814X

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 02/10/2021

Volume: 39

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 458-480

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/18918131.2021.1997502

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80229


The Rohingya are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Military campaigns conducted by Myanmar against the Rohingya have led to numerous deaths, widespread cases of sexual violence, the destruction of hundreds of villages, and the deportation of more than 700,000 people to Bangladesh. These events have triggered proceedings at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC has arguably failed to address the religious dimensions of crimes and facts in some of its previous jurisprudence appropriately. The entanglement of law and religion at the ICC may lead to an impoverished ratio decidendi and disregard for the victims’ claims. We hence argue that, by disentangling law and religion in the proceedings related to the Rohingya, the ICC may be able to enhance the consideration of both elements. This approach should result in (1) appropriate fact-finding related to the Rohingya’s identity on ethnic and religious grounds as well as religious dimensions of mass atrocities; (2) attribution of criminal responsibility for serious violations of human rights, including rights related to the Rohingya’s religious identity, which constitute international crimes; and (3) reparations for victims to redress harm inflicted on them.

Keywords: national minorities; ethnic groups; Rohingyas; ethnic cleansings; religious persecutions; war crimes; human rights; freedom of religion; international law; international criminal law; international courts of justice

Free keywords: Myanmar; Rohingya; International Criminal Court; religious persecution; international criminal law; human rights; freedom of religion; law and religion

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:21