Guidelines on Investigating Violations of IHL: Law, Policy, and Good Practice

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.

The Guidelines on Investigating Violations of IHL: Law, Policy, and Good Practice aim to bring much needed clarity and support for the conduct of effective investigations into violations of IHL.

The Guidelines are the result of a five-year project, initiated in 2014 by the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and joined in 2017 by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

AUTHORS

Picture of Noam Lubell

Noam Lubell

Former Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy and Professor of Public International 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.

Portrait of Jelena Pejic

Jelena Pejic

SENIOR LEGAL ADVISER, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS, LEGAL DIVISION, GENEVA

Jelena Pejic is a practitioner and scholar of international humanitarian law (IHL). Her work and publications cover a range of IHL issues and include the interface between IHL and human rights law. She is recognized as a leading authority in her fields.

Picture of Claire Simmons

Claire Simmons

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.

NEWS AND EVENTS

Cover page of the Guidelines News

Guidelines on Investigating Violations of IHL: Law, Policy, and Good Practice

16 September 2019

These Guidelines aim to bring much needed clarity and support for the conduct of effective investigations into violations of international humanitarian law. They are the result of a five-year project initiated in 2014 by the Geneva Academy and joined in 2017 by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Read more >

News

The UN Secretary-General Refers to our Guidelines on Investigating Violations of IHL

22 May 2020

In his latest report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General refers to our Guidelines on Investigating Violation of IHL, co-published with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Read more >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Portrait of Joshua Niyo News

Our Teaching Assistant Joshua Niyo Moves to UCLA School of Law to Finalize his Doctoral Research

24 February 2021

Joshua Niyo received a one-year Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) Doc.Mobility grant to spend a year at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law as Visiting Researcher.

Read more

World Map News

Three Papers Map Contentious Issues Related to the Application of International Law to Military Cyber Operations

22 June 2021

Three new Working Papers – researched by the Geneva Academy in the context of our joint project with the ICRC on the digitalization of armed conflict – address some of the main issues of contention concerning the application of international law to military cyber operations.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

9 March - 13 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, 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

Al Mahdi case: ICC Trial Chamber VIII issues reparations order, 17 August 2017 Short Course

International Criminal Law: General Principles and International Crimes

24 November - 15 December 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, reviews the origins of international criminal law, its relationship with the international legal order including the UN Security Council and its coexistence with national justice institutions. The scope of international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – is considered alongside initiatives to expand or add to these categories.

Read more

On the screen, on the screen is Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), briefing the Security Council on the 70th Anniversary of Geneva Conventions. Project

International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations Security Council

Started in January 2020

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

Read more

Cover page of the book Publication

War

published on July 2021

Andrew Clapham

Read more