In the first instance the United Kingdom encourages individual states to investigate and, where appropriate, to prosecute allegations of war crimes that have occurred in their territory or been committed by members of their armed forces. The UK plays an important role in promoting and supporting the development of stronger national capacity, through both diplomatic and development activity.
The International Criminal Court (ICC), of which the UK is a strong supporter, was created to bring the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide to justice where national courts are unable or unwilling to do so. Where a state is not a party to the Rome Statute setting up the ICC, the UK has urged countries to hold those accused of war crimes to account for their actions. The UK and our partners also work to encourage states to ratify the Rome Statute in order to achieve universality. The International Criminal Court Act 2001 provides for domestic jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when committed outside the UK, by a UK national, residents or persons subject to UK service jurisdiction. A prosecution under these Acts for an offence committed outside the UK may proceed in England and Wales or Northern Ireland only with the consent of the Attorney-General or Advocate-General for Northern Ireland. In Scotland, all prosecutions on indictment are done in the name of the Lord Advocate.