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The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission: Its Birth and Early Years

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Chapter Summary

The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) owes its existence to Article 90 of the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This chapter focuses on the negotiating history of Article 90. It attempts a short evaluation of this birth process, in the light of the early difficult years of the Commission's actual existence, which began as late as 1991. On 31 May 1977, the Plenary Meeting of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (CDDH) adopted Article 79 bis on the "International Fact-Finding Commission" for inclusion in Additional Protocol I. This concluded a process of drafting and negotiations which had gained momentum in March 1975 with the introduction of two proposals for a new draft article: one, by three Scandinavian countries plus New Zealand, and the other, by Pakistan.

Keywords: armed conflict; Geneva Conventions of 1949; International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC); international humanitarian law



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