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Junta leaders may face war crimes probe in Australia


Danny Gilbert, the managing accomplice at Gilbert + Tobin, stated: “We have been asked by some prominent Burmese Australians to investigate the possibility of bringing war crime charges against members of the Myanmar military junta.

“A national government needs to commence such a claim so our role would be preparing a brief to try to persuade the federal AG to act.”

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus stated, if elected, Labor would “carefully consider any proposals to help bring to justice military figures in Myanmar guilty of war crimes”.

Cash’s workplace was contacted for remark.

There are worldwide precedents below the premise of common justice together with European nations investigating war crimes in Syria, Iraq and now by Russian forces in Ukraine. A court docket in Argentina additionally final 12 months authorised an investigation into atrocities perpetrated by the Myanmar army towards the Rohingya ethnic minority in 2017 that have been this week decided by US President Joe Biden’s administration to have amounted to genocide.

In Australia, the investigating company can be the Australian Federal Police.

Aung San Suu Kyi with Min Aung Hlaing, right, before the coup. She has been detained since February 2021 on 17 charges brought against her by the junta that could see her sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Aung San Suu Kyi with Min Aung Hlaing, proper, earlier than the coup. She has been detained since February 2021 on 17 expenses introduced towards her by the junta that would see her sentenced to greater than 100 years in jail.Credit:AP

Rawan Arraf, a lawyer and government director of the Australian Centre for International Justice, has urged Australia to take on universal jurisdiction cases and for the AFP to establish a permanent war crimes investigation unit, not least as a result of the veto energy of states on the United Nations Security Council dilutes the attain of the International Criminal Court.

“Australia should step in and ensure that perpetrators do not enjoy impunity,” she stated.

There have been a number of functions in Australia in the previous decade, most notably in 2018 when a gaggle of Australian attorneys tried to have Myanmar civilian chief Aung San Suu Kyi prosecuted over the ethnic cleaning of the Rohingya, and in 2011 when a case was introduced towards Sri Lanka’s then president, now Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for its army’s killing of as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians through the civil war. Both have been dismissed as a result of they’d immunity below worldwide legislation as heads of state or heads of presidency.

The newly shaped Australian Office of the Special Investigator is delving into allegations of war crimes by Australian particular forces in Afghanistan however Arraf believes “the will of the police to undertake investigation of international crimes, particularly where there is no real Australian link, has not been there”.


Labor and non-government organisations have known as on Australia to comply with the US, United Kingdom, European Union and others by imposing focused sanctions on Myanmar’s army junta, which calls itself the State Administration Council. But Foreign Minister Marise Payne has indicated sanctioning the regime just isn’t in Australia’s nationwide curiosity.

The authorities has been unsuccessful in securing the discharge of Australian economist Sean Turnell, an advisor to Suu Kyi who has been detained in Yangon and Naypyidaw since February 2021. He is going through expenses introduced by the junta of violating state secrets and techniques.

The UN final week launched a report cataloguing the Myanmar army’s deliberate concentrating on of residents, together with with air strikes on closely populated areas, declaring “the appalling breadth and scale of violations” might quantity to war crimes and crimes towards humanity.

Attempts to contact Myanmar SAC spokesman Zaw Min Tun have been unsuccessful.

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