UN body-created investigation mandates: should the road ahead lead to a standing, permanent solution?
Around the world, impunity has been the rule and not the exception in situations involving the worst human rights atrocities. Without effective accountability, the protective reach of human rights law becomes meaningless, as victims of violations and abuses are denied justice.
One response has been rapidly increasing calls by victims’ groups and other stakeholders for the UN Human Rights Council to create innovative investigative mandates with sophisticated accountability functions.
These mandates, which carry out critical work, require the ongoing support of the international community. At the same time, they face significant challenges, including obtaining the necessary budget and staffing to fulfill their mandates.
As UN bodies continue to create new mandates in a largely piecemeal manner for only certain situations, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the University of Oxford consider it timely to convene a panel to discuss the road ahead. In particular, whether a more effective and efficient model can be identified, such as a standing, permanent body able to duly support and perform, as mandated, investigations in a manner that complements the existing human rights and international justice architecture while also promoting a more inclusive and systematic approach by the international community.
To contribute towards the discussion, the ICJ will release a report: Options for the establishment of a Standing Independent Investigative Mechanism (SIIM).
Opening remarks: Ambassador Kurt Jäger, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Sam Zarifi, Secretary General, ICJ
Catherine Marchi-Uhel Head, International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism – Syria (IIIM)
Amb. Stephen Rapp, Visiting Fellow of Practice, University of Oxford
Kingsley Abbott, Director of Global Accountability and International Justice, ICJ
Federica D’Alessandra, Deputy Director, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict
Simon Walker, Chief, Rule of Law and Democracy Section, OHCHR