Standards Applicable to the Investigation Process

Started in January 2014

This project started in 2014 with the working title ‘The Duty to investigate Under International Law’.

The investigation of death and harm during situations of armed conflict and high-intensity violence is a key area of concern for international human rights law and the law of armed conflict. Investigations are a critical mechanism used to verify what has happened in situations of armed conflict, which in turn also facilitates accountability.

A Lack of Detailed International Standards

Usually, however, the duty to investigate is implied but not mentioned directly in international law sources. States tend to rely on domestic standards, but there is no uniform practice and detailed international standards for assessing domestic procedures have not been agreed. This has profound practical implications. States and international organizations clearly need clarification in this area of law, not least because states are expected by human rights bodies to account for their investigations (or lack of them). Clearer rules are required in several areas, including the circumstances that should trigger investigations, the form investigations should take and the standards they should meet.

Identifying a Set of Best Practices

This project, initiated in 2014 by the Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law, Professor Noam Lubell, intends to identify, via expert meetings and research, a set of best practices that states should apply when they investigate or examine alleged violations or misconduct in situations of armed conflict.

The Best Practices Document will provide a reference point for all actors, including states, their militaries and judicial bodies, international and civil society organizations.

PROJECT'S DOCUMENTS

TEAM

Picture of Noam Lubell

Noam Lubell

Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy and Professor of Public International Law and Head of the School of Law at the University of Essex

Noam Lubell has taught, researched and published on a variety of topics related to international human rights law and the law of armed conflict, and is recognized as a leading expert in these fields.

Picture of Claire Simmons

Claire Simmons

Researcher

Claire Simmons conducts research on investigations in situations of armed conflict under the directorship of Professor Noam Lubell, Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy.

Picture of Kamelia Kemileva

Kamelia Kemileva

Executive Manager

Kamelia Kemileva is Executive Manager of the Geneva Academy and Co-Coordinator of the Treaty Body Review 2020. She is also a visiting programme director at Wilton Park.

NEWS

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Portrait of Professor Geoff Gilbert Event

Opening Lecture of the Academic Year: The Political Participation of Refugees and Other Displaced Persons in their Country of Nationality and in the Host State

October 2017, 18:15-19:45

In this opening lecture, Professor Geoff Gilbert will discuss how, as conflict and repression end and states move towards a period of transition, those who have been displaced can participate in the restoration process.

Read more

Coverpage of the book ‘Out of the Shadows’ Geneva Academy Wednesday

Out of the Shadows: Recommendations to Advance Transparency in the Use of Lethal Force

September 2017, 18:00-19:30

This Geneva Academy Wednesday will evaluate 15 years of U.S. counterterrorism strikes, analyse recent developments, and assess the Trump Administration’s approach to the use of force, transparency, and accountability.

Read more

Syria, Old city of Aleppo. Destructed houses situated next to the frontline stand side by side alongside intact houses full of occupants just a few meters away from the frontline Short Course

The Classification of Armed Conflicts

11 January - February 2018

This course aims to study, in depth, an emblematic example of the complexity of international humanitarian law and the challenges it raises: the classification of armed conflicts.

Read more

Lifejackets on a beach in Greece Short Course

International Refugee Law

16 February - March 2018

This course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Read more

Libya, Misrata, Tripoli Street. After a battle between members of the armed opposition and government forces. Project

The War Report

Started in December 2013

As an annual publication, The War Report provides an overview of contemporary trends in current armed conflicts, including key international humanitarian law and policy issues that have arisen and require attention.

Read more

UN Peacekeepers on Patrol in Abyei, Sudan Project

Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Completed in January 2005

This research project aimed to clarify the multiple facets of post-conflict peacebuilding.

Read more