News Archive

  ·  21 October 2011
Report on the work of the IHFFC on the Occasion of its 20th Anniversary [21/10/2011]
The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC, hereinafter "the Commission"), constituted in 1991 pursuant to article 90 of Protocol I Additional of 1977 to the
Geneva Conventions of 1949, has now been in existence for twenty years. Its services,
however, have not been used to date. In this situation, the Commission feels a need to
evaluate its situation, to draw a balance sheet and to submit it to the High Contracting
Parties having recognised the competence of the Commission (hereinafter "the States

The Commission presents this report to the States Parties in order to enable them to
assess the work of the Commission. In presenting this Report, the Commission wishes to
highlight the services which it may provide as a means of ensuring the better implementation
of international humanitarian law. On the other hand, the Commission has been
aware of, and wishes to draw attention to, the particular constraints to which it is subject
in accordance with the international legal framework which forms the basis of its very
existence, and which constitutes its mandate.

  ·  16 August 2011
Elections, 9 December 2011: information Meeting on Thursday, 1 September 2011, Geneva [16/08/2011]
In view of the upcoming Diplomatic Conference of 9 December 2011 in Bern for the election of the 15 members of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, the Swiss Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva will organize an Information Meeting on Thursday, 1 September 2011, from 15.00 – 16:00 at the Palais des Nations, Room XXV.

The Program of the Information Meeting will be as follows:

The President of the Commission, Prof. Dr. Michael Bothe, will inform about the legal basis, competence, function, profile of the members and activities of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission;

The Secretary of the Commission, Ambassador Jürg Lindenmann, Vice-Director of the Directorate of international law at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will provide all necessary Information in view of the elections of 9 December 2011.

  ·  11 January 2011
Resolution of the Final Statement of the Sixty-fifth session, Sixth Committee, Agenda item 82 Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts [11/01/2011]
In 1982, for the first time an Agenda item on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts was included in the agenda of the General Assembly at the request of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (A/37/142). Since then, the General Assembly considered this item biennially.
At its sixty-third session, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly a report on the status of the Additional Protocols relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts, as well as on measures taken to strengthen the existing body of international humanitarian law, inter alia, with respect to its dissemination and full implementation at the national level, based on information received from Member States and the International Committee of the Red Cross (resolution 63/125).

  ·  28 October 2010
Statement of the President of the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission, Professor Michael Bothe, before the Third Universal Meeting of National Committees on International Humanitarian Law [28/10/2010]
The fundamental purpose of this Conference has been to promote the better implementation of international humanitarian law. In this context, the IHFFC reminded the delegates of the National Commission on International Humanitarian Law assembled of the IHFFC as a tool which exists exactly for this purpose. Art. 90 AP I creates a permanent body which States may seize if there are allegations of violations of international humanitarian law. Its task is to clarify the relevant facts. The creation of this body was one of the major achievements of the drafters of AP I in 1977 who wished to improve the mechanisms designed to ensure respect for the Conventions and the Additional Protocols. However, the binding competence of the Commission does not follow automatically from the ratification of AP I. An additional declaration is necessary to this effect. The General Assembly of the United Nations has repeatedly invited States to make this declaration in addition to their ratification, and it is hopefully making the same appeal in the resolution the draft of which is now being considered in the 6th Committee. There are also resolutions of Red Cross/Red Crescent conferences to the same effect.
The National Committees on IHL are particularly well placed to see to it that these appeals are heeded and that the potential for a better implementation of IHL which the Commission offers is indeed used by their countries. 72 countries from all parts of the World have so far recognized the competence of the Commission. Time for those who have not yet done so to join the club.

  ·  26 October 2010
Report by Mr. Eric David, Member of the IHFFC, on the Conference on the Fact-Finding Mission [26/10/2010]
sent to the Philippines by Geneva Call to verify the allegations of the Philippine Government concerning the use of land mines by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Read the summary report by the IHFFC Member Prof. Eric David...

  ·  18 October 2010
Statement before the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly, New York, October 18, 2010 presented on behalf of the President of the IHFFC by Leah Campbell, Advisor [18/10/2010]
This was the first time that a representative of the IHFFC could speak before the UN General Assembly since it has granted the IHFFC observer status. The IHFFC thanked the UN Assembly for this proof of confidence in its potential to work for a better respect of international humanitarian law. Read the statement of Prof. Michael Bothe...

  ·  13 August 2010
The Kingdom of Lesotho recognizes the competence of the IHFFC [13/08/2010]
On 13 August 2010, the Government of Kingdom of Lesotho recognized the competence of the IHFFC. Lesotho is the 72st State to have done so. The IHFFC welcomes this decision from the Kingdom of Lesotho and thanks this new State Party for its trust and confidence in the work of the Commission.

  ·  11 June 2010
International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, 31 May to 11 June 2010 [11/06/2010]
At the occasion of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, on 1st June 2010, Prof. Michael Bothe, President of the IHFFC, had the opportunity to speak about the IHFFC and its role as an Observer at the Conference. Since the Rome Conference of 1998, the IHFFC has been a participant in the Assembly of States Parties. Both, the ICC and the IHFFC, share a common goal: the respect and better implementation of fundamental values of the international community, namely the rules of international law restraining violence. Inquiry reports of the IHFFC may enable States to make a meaningful use of the complementary option offered by the ICC Statute, as independent fact-finding must not necessarily lead to a case being submitted to the ICC and might, therefore, offer an alternative option.

  ·  09 June 2010
African Union, Addis Abeba, 7 to 9 June 2010 [09/06/2010]
A delegation of the IHFFC met with Mr Ramtane Lamamra, Ambassador, Commissioner for Peace & Security, and various other representatives of the African Union as well as the ICRC. The delegation presented the IHFFC and underlined the role it can play in international dispute settlement as well as in the implementation of international humanitarian law.

  ·  23 February 2010
Members of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) hold their annual meeting 2010 in Geneva [23/02/2010]
Beside the renewed expression of their strong will to assume the role the IHFFC has been provided with by the international community, members will take the occasion of this annual meeting (24 to 26 February) to discuss opportunities and actions needed after the IHFFC has been granted observer status by the UN General Assembly last December.

Furthermore, issues and ideas developed during the workshop on IHL implementation mechanisms at the occasion of the Conference "60 Years of the Geneva Conventions and the Decades Ahead" organised by Switzerland last November in Geneva, will be deepened.

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