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UK looks to Sri Lanka to deliver on UN commitments ‘in full’, after 18,000 people call for ICC referral 

The British government has said that it looks to Sri Lanka to deliver on commitments made to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) "in full” after calls to refer the island to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Over 18,000 British citizens and UK residents have signed a petition calling on Sri Lanka to be referred to the ICC, stating that Colombo has “failed to implement the resolution and brazenly repudiated its commitments to the UNHRC and victims of the war”.

“The ICC could only exercise jurisdiction if the situation is referred to it by a UN Security Council Resolution, or if Sri Lanka accepts the Court’s jurisdiction,” said the UK in response. 

“Our assessment is that this step would not have the support of the required Security Council members. Nor would it advance the cause of accountability for an ICC referral to fail to win Security Council support or to be vetoed. Sri Lanka has made commitments to the UNHRC, and we continue to look to them to deliver those commitments in full.”

Read the full text of the response here.

Last month the British government initially responded to the petition by saying "international criminal justice and accountability is a fundamental element", however maintained that the UN Human Rights Council resolutions were the best way of achieving accountability.

The government was forced to revise their response after an intervention by the petitions committee.