Launch in Geneva at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) by the parties to an armed conflict are not only crucial to securing respect for IHL, but also to preventing future violations and enabling redress for victims of past violations. Despite the unquestionable importance of investigations, there is a lack of detail with regard to the international law, principles and standards relevant to investigations in armed conflicts. This is further reflected in the disparate practice across states in the way investigations are carried out.
This event, hosted by the Geneva Academy and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, will serve to present and discuss the Guidelines on Investigating Violations of International Humanitarian Law: Law, Policy, and Good Practice.
The first document of its kind, published by the Geneva Academy and the ICRC in this area addresses, among other things, when an investigation should be triggered, the different types of investigations, and the international principles and standards necessary for an effective investigation in armed conflict. The text presents a broad framework for the conduct of investigations, while taking into account the diverse legal and military systems that exist, as well as the legal and practical challenges that can arise.
The Guidelines are the result of a five-year project initiated in 2014. The resulting publication is based on extensive research and is also informed by a series of expert workshops and engagement with stakeholders. The 16 Guidelines are each accompanied by a detailed commentary and provide guidance on the different aspects of investigations into violations of IHL, from the early stages of recording information and identifying the incidents that require investigation, through to the structural and procedural aspects of investigative bodies.
These Guidelines should be an essential tool not only for states aiming to conduct investigations of IHL violations in compliance with international law but also for other actors seeking a more detailed understanding of investigations in armed conflict.
Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy and Professor of International Law, University of Geneva
This event forms part of the RedTalk Programme of the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. It is therefore only open to those with accreditation to the Conference.
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This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
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