Skip to main content

Armenia: Genocide

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL4361, tabled on 24 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 17 November (HL3864), what steps they have taken to either (1) institute proceedings in the International Court of Justice that would lead to a pronouncement of genocide in Armenia, or (2) give British courts a role in determining whether states are guilty of committing genocide.

Answered on

6 December 2021

The Government has not taken any steps to institute proceedings in the International Court of Justice that would lead to a pronouncement of genocide in Armenia. The Government's longstanding policy is that any judgment as to whether genocide has occurred is a matter for a competent national or international court rather than for Governments or non-judicial bodies. We do not consider that it would be beneficial to empower the High Court of England and Wales to make a preliminary finding that a State has committed genocide or crimes against humanity. These are crimes that require the application of a criminal standard of proof on the basis of individual criminal liability. Any decision must be made after consideration of all of the evidence available in the context of an actual and credible criminal trial of an individual or individuals. British courts can, however, determine whether individuals have committed the crime of genocide.