Standards of Proof in Fact Finding

Completed in December 2015

Several ad hoc fact-finding and inquiry commissions have been established to assess some of the most serious situations of human rights and humanitarian law violations across the world (e.g. Darfur, Lebanon, Guinea, Georgia, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Ivory Coast, Libya and Syria).

With such mechanisms gaining influence, the question arises of whether a minimum formal standard of proof (or degree of certainty) exists or is required when such bodies adjudicate on such serious matters.

This research project assessed a range of mechanisms, starting with formal judicial processes and the ‘natural home’ of standards of proof. After an initial overview, it considered a range of case studies, including ad hoc fact-finding missions mandated by the United Nations, but also the work of non-governmental organizations, regional bodies, international experts and other relevant bodies operating in the international arena that are tasked, to some extent, to make legal adjudications with regard to alleged serious violations of human rights or humanitarian law.

TEAM

No image available

Jonathan Somer

No image available

Amélie Larocque

Picture of Stephen Wilkinson

Stephen Wilkinson

OUTPUT

The outcomes of the research were compiled in a Geneva Academy report, Standards of Proof in International Humanitarian and Human Rights Fact-Finding and Inquiry Missions (2014).

Publications

Cover of Standards of Proof in Fact Finding

Standards of Proof in International Humanitarian and Human Rights Fact-Finding and Inquiry Missions

October 2014

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Gaza City, 2014. Palestinians check the remains of Al-Basha, a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike. Event

Public Pleadings by LLM Students on the Summer 2014 Gaza Conflict

June 2018, 09:00-16:00

In the framework of the LLM course on international humanitarian law (IHL), students will plead for Israel and Palestine arguing that the side they represent has respected IHL while the adverse side has violated IHL.

Read more

Cover of the book A Victimless Crime? A Narrative on Victims of Terrorism to Build a Case for Support. Geneva Academy Wednesdays

Terrorism – The Neglected Victim’s Perspective

June 2018, 18:30-20:00

Join us for a discussion with Laura Dolci, author of A Victimless Crime? A Narrative on Victims of Terrorism to Build a Case for Support.

Read more

Colombia, Mountains in the Valle del Cauca region, between Santander de Quilichao et Popayan. FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) combattants. Project

Rules of Engagement

Completed in January 2009

This project looked at how to enhance compliance by armed non-state actors with international norms, taking into account the views both of the actors themselves and the experiences of those engaged in dialogue with them.

Read more

ICC Trial Chamber VIII declares Mr Al Mahdi guilty of the war crime of attacking historic and religious buildings in Timbuktu and sentences him to nine years’ imprisonment Project

Modes of Liability for International Crimes

Started in January 2015

This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.

Read more