Commissions of Inquiry and Questions of Jus Ad Bellum

Forthcoming, Leila N. Sadat (ed.), Seeking Accountability for the Unlawful Use of Force (CUP)

Grotius Centre Working Paper 2017/065-PSL

24 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2017

Date Written: January 23, 2017

Abstract

Commissions of inquiry (‘commissions’) have been loosely characterised as a new form of adjudication. This Chapter assesses the current and potential role of commissions in the overall legal framework regarding the use of force. The Chapter thus aims to locate commissions within the greater jus ad bellum architecture. While inquiry reports are formally non-binding, they interact with other institutions and actors, and may have wider normative ramifications. The Chapter portrays the diversity of the inquiry landscape and zeroes in on the Kosovo and Iraq Inquiries as concrete examples of inquiry practice operating in situations that evoked fundamental jus ad bellum questions. Given the Human Rights Council’s frequent practice of establishing commissions, the Chapter specifically examines whether future HRC commissions may become more active in the jus ad bellum domain in light of the potential activation of the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. The Chapter concludes with some reflections on the accountability-potential of commissions of inquiry.

Keywords: commissions of inquiry, fact-finding, international peace and security, aggression, Human Rights Council

Suggested Citation

Harwood, Catherine and van den Herik, Larissa, Commissions of Inquiry and Questions of Jus Ad Bellum (January 23, 2017). Forthcoming, Leila N. Sadat (ed.), Seeking Accountability for the Unlawful Use of Force (CUP); Grotius Centre Working Paper 2017/065-PSL. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3056277

Catherine Harwood (Contact Author)

Leiden University ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
Leiden
Netherlands

Larissa Van den Herik

Leiden University ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

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