Press Release: “Sri Lanka Rejects Foreign Judges in Accountability Mechanism: What next?”

On 9 March 2017, the Monitoring Accountability Panel (“MAP”) held a side
event at the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. This event
followed the publication of MAP’s Second Spot Report (dated 28 February).

International lawyer Richard J Rogers reiterated MAP’s position that the
Government of Sri Lanka has been acting in bad faith and is neither willing
nor able to establish a hybrid court, with meaningful participation of foreign
judges and prosecutors, to prosecute those most responsible for the atrocities
committed during Sri Lanka’s armed conflict. According to Rogers:

“The Government of Sri Lanka has failed to meet it commitments
under the Human Rights Council Resolution of October 2015 and has
breached its legal obligations to victims. If it continues in this vein, the
UN Security Council should refer Sri Lanka to the International
Criminal Court to prosecute those most responsible.”

MAP welcomed the recommendations of the High Commissioner on Human
Rights in his (Advance) Report on Sri Lanka, dated 10 February 2017.
Consistent with the view of MAP, the High Commissioner recommended “a
hybrid court, which should include international judges, defence lawyers,
prosecutors and investigators.” Rogers also agreed with the High
Commissioner’s recommendation that Member States should: “Wherever
possible, in particular under universal jurisdiction, investigate and prosecute those allegedly responsible for such violations as torture, enforced
disappearance, war crimes and crimes against humanity.” According to

“By recommending that third States step in to prosecute alleged war
criminals under universal jurisdiction, the High Commissioner has
shown that he is losing faith in the Sri Lankan Government’s
willingness to bring justice to hundreds of thousands of victims.”

Press Release- MAP 9 March 2017