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The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission Established by the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions

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Chapter Summary

The International Fact-Finding Commission is a creature of Article 90 of the Protocol of 8 June 1977 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I). In order to emphasize its focus and avoid confusion with fact-finding bodies in other areas of law, the Commission has added "humanitarian" to its name. In its publications and correspondence, it consistently refers to itself as the "International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission" (IHFFC). The text of Article 90 as well as its context and drafting history leave no room for doubt that the Commission was designed as an instrument at the disposal of States. Any activity of the Commission in relation to individual complaints too, would be non-judicial or, at best, pre-judicial, and its findings and recommendations would be neither binding nor enforceable.

Keywords: Geneva Conventions; individual victims; International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission; international humanitarian fact-finding commission (IHFFC); judicial character; Protocol



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