Laying the foundations : commissions of inquiry and the development of international law
Commissions of inquiry : problems and prospects
Oxford ; Portland : Hart, 2017
This chapter draws on a number of prominent examples of commissions of inquiry to assess whether they can be considered to have made a contribution to the development of international law, specifically international criminal law. It considers illustrative instances of the application of international law by the Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on the Enforcement of Penalties (1919), the United Nations War Crimes Commission (1943-1948) and the Commission of Experts established by the Security Council to examine alleged violations of international humanitarian law in the Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994). The question of whether commissions of inquiry can be said to have developed, rather than merely applied international law, is the central concern of this chapter. Consideration is first given to the legal weight to be ascribed to the findings of commissions of inquiry within the international legal system, before turning to an examination of the three chosen commissions. The chapter’s analysis draws upon the jurisprudence of relevant international courts and tribunals, and other sources of international law, in considering the contribution of commissions of inquiry to the development of international law.
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