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.

Research Team

This research project was carried out by Amélie Larocque, Jonathan Somer and 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).

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Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Completed in January 2015

This project examined the legal requirements that the use of autonomous weapon systems would need to comply with in a number of scenarios envisaged by proponents of increasing autonomy in weapon systems.

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INVESTIGATING IN SITUATIONS OF ARMED CONFLICT: Law, Policy and Good Practice

Started in January 2014

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.

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