Burma

Myanmar ICJ Defender to Give Lecture in Yangon

By Zin Lin Htet 25 February 2020

Yangon – Professor William Schabas, who defended Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against genocide charges in December, will deliver a lecture at Yangon University on March 5.

The Canadian-born academic is professor of international law at Middlesex University in the UK.

He was among three senior members of Myanmar’s delegation at the ICJ. In December at the ICJ, Schabas denied genocide took place during the military clearance operation in Rakhine State in 2017 against the Rohingya community in which hundreds were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Schabas will give a lecturer on legal affairs at Yangon University’s Convocation Hall in the morning, director-general of the Higher Education Department Dr. Thein Win told The Irrawaddy.

“The event is mainly intended for law students so that they can learn from a foreign academic to broaden their horizons,” he said.

Around 1,000 students and staff from Yangon University, East Yangon University and Dagon University are expected to attend the lecture, he said.

Ko Naing Lin Khant, a final-year law student at Yangon University, said he hoped Schabas would share his knowledge of international law.

“We are pleased he is giving the talk. We hope he will give an informative lecture about the importance of law for Myanmar to protect its interests on the international stage,” he said.

The law department of Yangon University has not asked students to register for the lecture, he said.

Schabas is a Canadian human rights, genocide and death penalty specialist. He supervises PhD students in international criminal and human rights law, genocide, transitional justice and the death penalty at Middlesex University.

He has written numerous books on human rights and international criminal law, including the popular The Trial of Kaiser, which is about the attempted prosecution of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II after the First World War.

He served as the president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) from 2009 to 2011.

The IAGS asked Schabas earlier this month to cut his ties to the Myanmar government.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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