New article: States of Legal Denial

My article on How the State in Myanmar Uses Law to Exclude the Rohingya, is now out outline with Journal of Contemporary Asia.

This comes as protests are set to occur in Myanmar on 10 December in support of Daw Suu and her position on the Rohingya. The We Stand with You campaign comes in advance of the case on 12 December brought by The Gambia at the International Court of Justice, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The We Stand with Daw Suu campaign began in 2017 when Daw Suu defended her position on the Rohingya to the United Nations General Assembly. My article examines these strategies of denial and in particular identifies how law is used to enact a state of denial.

The abstract of the article is as follows: States often use forms of denial to suppress the pain and suffering of minority groups. In 2015, the international community celebrated the electoral success of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. Yet through legislative reform, the Rohingya were disenfranchised prior to the election. This is an example of legal denial, that is, the use of law and legal institutions to enact denial. The article traces three uses of legal denial against the Rohingya. One act of legal denial is constitutional reform through the creation of Rakhine State in 1974 and the making of the Rohingya as a minority within Rakhine State. Another act of legal denial is legislative reform through the removal of the right to vote and run for office in 2015. A further means of legal denial occurs through judicial decision-making and the use of political trials related to the conflict in Rakhine State. As the global community struggles with how to respond to the violence, displacement and humanitarian crisis, it is suggested that there is a need to understand the acts of legal denial – constitutional, legislative and judicial – that led to this crisis and how these acts of denial are employed to deny suffering and violence.

If your institution does not give you access to this journal, there are 50 free copies available at this link or please contact me.