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The Competence and Functions of Fact-Finding Bodies

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Chapter Summary

The competence of fact-finding bodies in the field of human rights depends on the law applicable to their work. The function of fact-finding bodies depends on the position of such bodies within the structural framework in which they operate. The European Convention on Human Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights contain clear competences with respect to fact-finding in the field of human rights. The competence of non-permanent fact-finding bodies in the field of human rights is based on resolutions of their parent bodies. The procedure instituted by ECOSOC resolution 1503 (XLVIII) gives the United Nations Commission on Human Rights the explicit mandate to establish an ad hoc investigation committee for establishing facts in regard to situations of mass and flagant violations of human rights. Fact-finding in the field of human rights is the basis of international political and judicial action, including mediation, conciliation or negotiation.

Keywords: American Convention on Human Rights; ECOSOC resolution 1503; European Convention on Human Rights; fact-finding bodies; United Nations Commission on Human Rights



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