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Investigating Violations of International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law through an International Commission of Inquiry: Libya and Beyond

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks in more detail at one of the responses to reported mass violations of human rights and, as an armed conflict developed, of serious violations of international humanitarian law: namely the establishment of the United Nations' International Commission of Inquiry for Libya (ICOI-Libya). It discusses the role of ICOIs in investigating human rights and humanitarian law violations and uses the example of the ICOI-Libya to highlight some of the legal and methodological challenges which arise in conducting such investigations. The chapter deliberately encompasses violations of both human rights and humanitarian law, given the application of both sets of law in armed conflict and the potential dual characterization of many factual scenarios: such as unlawful killing of civilians/arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence. It particularly pays attention to investigating violations committed during armed conflict.

Keywords: armed conflict; human rights; humanitarian law; International Commission of Inquiry (ICOI); Libya

10.1163/9789004277106_008
/content/books/b9789004277106s008
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