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Substantive Law Applicable

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Chapter Summary

Fact-finding in the field of human rights is a quasi-judicial process. This implies that, though not governed by some of the rigid aspects of legal proceedings, a fact-finding body should be guided by the relevant substantive and procedural rules of international law. The substantive law to be applied by a fact-finding body depends, in the first place upon any particular constitutional or treaty-régime within which it was established or any indications in its constitutive instrument. The chapter discusses the relevance and the applicability of what are generally known as the "international human rights standards". The Commission on Human Rights' Ad Hoc Working Group into the situation of human rights in Chile took the position that "The standards applied by the Group to assess the situation of human rights in Chile were those contained in the international instruments on human rights adopted by the United Nations and adhered to by Chile".

Keywords: Ad Hoc Working Group; Chile; fact-finding body; human rights; international human rights standards; substantive law; United Nations



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