Alienum phaedrum torquatos nec eu, vis detraxit periculis ex, nihil expetendis in mei. Mei an pericula euripidis, hinc partem.


FIBGAR / Articles  / Universal Jurisdiction in Argentina: the Rohingya case

Universal Jurisdiction in Argentina: the Rohingya case

On 28 June 2024, Argentine Prosecutor Guillermo Marijuán asked the federal criminal court in Buenos Aires, Argentina to order international arrest warrants against 25 Myanmar government officials for the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya community between 2012 and 2018. This is the first time that arrest warrants are being sought against the Myanmar military for the crime of genocide, the historic persecution and violence suffered by the Rohingya community, which culminated in the horrific “clearance operations” in 2017 and the death of at least 10,000 people and the mass exodus of over 700,000 Rohingya – half of them children.

Requests for arrest warrants include the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Min Aung Hlaing, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, Soe Win, and the former commander of the Western Command, Maung Maung Soe.

The request from the Prosecutor, under Article 294 of the Argentinian Code of Criminal Procedure, to seek statements from the identified perpetrators and issue international arrest warrants is a result of an investigation under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which was initiated following a complaint filed by the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) in November 2019.

It is recalled that Argentine law enshrines the principle of “pure” universal jurisdiction, included in Article 118 of the Constitution, which allows for trials for crimes under public international law committed outside Argentina. Furthermore, Article 5 of Law 26, 200/06 expressly grants federal courts criminal jurisdiction over crimes mentioned in the Rome Statute of the ICC, among others.