The Art of Facts

A LEGAL BLOG about Fact-finding and Armed ConflicTS

UN Reports

Fact-Finding and proving direct attacks against civilians: ‘Double tap’ as the ‘smoking gun’?

In the field of fact-finding on alleged violations of IHL, establishing cases of direct attacks against civilians, civilian objects or against specially protected persons or objects, such as medical staff, rescue workers and hospitals, is a recurring challenge for investigators. Making a factual finding that certain incidents amount to indiscriminate attacks, such as those not […]

 

IHL Norms on Precautions: To be handled with care!

With the CoI on the 2014 Gaza Conflict all over the news today, and the important part of its report dedicated to applying the IHL norms on precautions to facts, I thought some of you may be interested by an Expert Opinion I wrote, earlier this year, on the Meaning and Scope of Feasible Precautions […]

 

Report of the CoI on the 2014 Gaza Conflict: The challenging job of IHL fact-finding

I will not pretend to have read the full report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict published today, let alone to have conducted a thorough comparison with the findings of the UN Board of Inquiry or with Israel’s own analysis of its conduct during the conflict (but note that these […]

 

The use of information and communications technologies in fact-finding: A survey by the SR on SumEx

With the highly anticipated report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza Conflict to be discussed at the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 29 June, and to be published most certainly next week, one may except a renewed debate over fact-finding methodologies. Of particular interest, the question in the background of the comments […]

 

The quest for quality in fact-finding

Just a very short post to bring your attention to a book you may have already seen as it was published at the end of 2013 but did not have time to read yet. Quality Control in Fact-Finding edited by Morten Bergsmo and which is available in open access here (a feature always important to […]

 

A New Commission of Inquiry for the OPT: “the More Things Stay the Same, the More They Change”?

While I could have posted something on the new commissions created by the UN on CAR and Eritrea, I felt compelled to share a couple of brief comments about the new international commission of inquiry on the OPT established yesterday by the Human Rights Council, maybe mostly to reflect on a strange apparent sensation of […]

 

From Gaza to Donetsk: The law matters as much as the facts in the fog of human suffering and claims of tragic errors

It has been more than 8 months since my last post… One could blame the laziness following the excitement of the first posts. To be honest, it was more due to some juggling between too many assignments at the same time! Now, the reason behind this need for a new post is far more tragic […]

 

Getting the facts AND the law right

I am aware that after a few months any new blog runs the risk of repetitions. But I am also convinced that many issues I have alluded to since I started my new life as an “intermittent blogger” deserve further exploration. So I decided to write few more lines on the complex interaction between the […]

 

The power of inferences in Syria: HRW “reading between the lines” and “connecting the dots”

As expected the UN Report on chemical weapons in Syria suggests much more than its actual findings on the use of such weapons. The Human Rights Watch’s analysis of the UN Report technical annexes is quite telling. According to HRW the detailed evidence as a whole points at the responsibility of the Syrian governmental armed […]

 

UN Report on chemical weapons in Syria: The facts, nothing but the facts…?

The Report on the alleged use of chemical weapons on 21 August 2013 in Syria was released on 16 September through a Note of the UN Secretary-General (UNSG). The inquiry was carried out by the United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, established by the UNSG. […]

 

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