'EU does not insist on foreign judges' | Sunday Observer

'EU does not insist on foreign judges'

9 October, 2016

The European Union (EU) does not insist on foreign judges on the judicial mechanism to probe alleged war crimes to assure an element of credibility, instead they would wait and see what the government comes up on their own, Acting EU Head of mission in Colombo Paul Godfrey said.

The EU will push for international judges to the proposed special court in Sri Lanka's transitional justice mechanism only if the indigenous system lacks credibility and independence, Godfrey told the Sunday Observer.

This is in spite of their broad view supporting UN HighCcommissioner Prince Zeid Al Hussein's assessment in the original Geneva resolution that there would be a need to involve Commonwealth and foreign personnel in Sri Lanka's judicial mechanism that will look into the allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses in the latter part of the war with LTTE. "Our principle focus is the quality and credibility of the process, something which can meet the needs of the various victims across the country including the victims of the LTTE atrocities and violence."

The Envoy who is also the Head of Political, Trade and Communications said based on the domestic mechanism that is expected to be unveiled in September, they would decide if the government needed assistance to ensure credibility and independence of the proposed judicial process.