The Design and Planning of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions

54 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2013  

Rob Grace

Harvard University - Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research

Date Written: December 9, 2013

Abstract

The design and planning process is crucial to the implementation of monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) mechanisms geared toward investigating violations of international law, including human rights, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law. However, many disagreements exist about how MRF actors should weigh different factors in their design and planning decision-making processes. This paper — to provide a point of reference indicating the implications of different methodological choices — examines areas of methodological agreement and disagreement, trends of professional decision-making, and normative perceptions that practitioners hold about best practices regarding the design and planning of MRF mechanisms. Based on an assessment of fifteen MRF missions implemented over the past decade, this paper analyzes how commissioners on these missions interpreted the mission’s investigative scope, examines the factors that guided decisions about the activities that the mission would undertake, and offers an overview of common staffing dilemmas. Overall, the paper aims to present a portrait of the state of MRF practice, in terms of how practitioners approach fulfilling their mandates.

Suggested Citation

Grace, Rob, The Design and Planning of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions (December 9, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2365435

Rob Grace (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research ( email )

1033 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

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