Do We Need an International Commission of Inquiry for COVID-19?
EJIL:Talk! (May 2020)
7 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 20 Jul 2020
Date Written: May 21, 2020
This paper considers whether the COVID-19 pandemic requires the establishment of an international commission of inquiry. It considers the reasons to pursue inquiry rather than litigation and what an inquiry's mandate might contain, including how much the inquiry should focus on international law or state responsibility. It then considers who could create such a body, what its composition might look like, different working methods, and how to maximise co-operation. Overall, a forward-looking inquiry aimed at improving global preparedness may be more prudent and realistic than a mechanism focused on legal wrongdoing.
Keywords: COVID-19, international law, commission of inquiry, fact-finding, WHO, coronavirus
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