The Department of Law, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) organised its very first Law Lecture Series on 17 October 2018, Wednesday on the topic of postcolonial boundaries, international law, and the making of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. As the keynote speaker, Dr. Mohammad Shahabuddin, Reader in International Law & Human Rights at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, spoke on the above-mentioned topic. In his speech, he outlined that the unique process of the ‘making’ of postcolonial states through the operation of international law is intrinsically connected to the suppression of ethnic minorities and the ensuing humanitarian catastrophes in these states. With the continuation of colonial boundaries in postcolonial states, international law has facilitated many of these catastrophes.
Exploring the questionable legal status of the uti possidetis principle in international law and the fallacy of its conflict-preventing potential, Dr. Shahabuddin argued that the idea of uti possidetis itself is a key problem. He further said that, the continuation of arbitrarily-drawn colonial boundaries often undermines the legitimate right to self-determination of numerous ethnic minorities.