News Archive

  ·  24 September 2007
New brochure available [24/09/2007]
In the past month the IHFFC-Brochure was reviewed and adapted to the latest developments and new approaches of the Commission. The new brochures are available in English and French at the Secretariat of the Commission and will be soon available online.

  ·  03 September 2007
Prof. Eric David was severely wounded last week [03/09/2007]
It is with deep regret that the Commission has to announce that its Member Prof. Eric David was severely wounded last week, having been knocked over by a motorcycle during his usual morning bicycle run from his home to the University in Brussels. The Commission wishes Prof. David all the best for his recovery.

  ·  31 August 2007
The IHFFC at 2nd Commonwealth Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference in Wellington [31/08/2007]
The IHFFC attended the 2nd Commonwealth Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference in Wellington New Zealand from 29 to 31 August 2007, chaired by the former President of the IHFFC, Sir Kenneth Keith. The Commission was represented by Col. Charles Garraway. The IHFFC was offered the opportunity in a plenary session to present itself to the delegates.

To see the slides of the presentation, please click here.

  ·  20 June 2007
Participation of the IHFFC to the Regional Symposium for the 30th Anniversary of the Additional Protocols of 1977 in Beijing [20/06/2007]
From 18 to 19 June 2007 the President of the IHFFC, Prof. Michael Bothe, participated and presented the IHFFC at the regional Symposium for the 30th Anniversary of the Adoption of the 1977 Protocols Additional to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, which took place in Beijing and was organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People Republic of China and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Prof. Bothe took the opportunity to have contacts with number of representatives of Asia States which are not yet members of the IHFFC.

  ·  06 June 2007
Presentation of the IHFFC before the COJUR (EU) in Brussels [06/06/2007]
The IHFFC was invited by the EU Council Working Group on Public International Law (COJUR) for a presentation during its session of 6 June in Brussels. The Commission was represented by its President, Prof. Michael Bothe, Prof. Eric David and Ambassador Christine Schraner Burgener, Secretary of the Commission. Three presentations were made: about its existence and functioning in general, current activities and logistical aspects of the potential operations. A lively discussion followed with the delegates of the COJUR.

To see the slides of the three presentations, please click on the respective item below:

existence and functioning; current activities; logistical aspects

  ·  23 March 2007
The IHFFC adopts a Plan of action [23/03/2007]
Following the annual meeting 2007, which took place from 14 to 16 March in Geneva, the members of the IHFFC adopted a plan of action with the aim of reinforcing the visibility and the presence of the Commission among the international community and its position and readiness to fulfil its mandate.

The Commission understands its role, as conceived by Art. 90, as meaning that it could and should be used as an effective instrument of the States Parties to comply with their obligation to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols. It has the important function of ascertaining facts in order to ensure a better implementation of international humanitarian law. The Commission, by respecting the spirit of the Conventions and the Additional Protocols, has indeed taken, a proactive stance by offering its good offices whenever it deems this to be appropriate. It intends to increase its activities in this respect.

  ·  19 March 2007
International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission: Fourth Constituent Assembly  [19/03/2007]
During its annual meeting, held in Geneva march 14 to 16, the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC) drew a balance of the efforts made to the respect of international humanitarian law by means of enquiries into alleged grave breaches of these rules. The Lebanon and Darfur crises are the most recent examples of allegations of horrendous violations of the rules of international law protecting the victims of armed conflicts. In both cases, the measures undertaken to clarify the facts in a reliable way have been the object of sharp political controversy.

The IHFFC, discussing the lessons to be learned from these conflicts, concluded that impartiality and independence are a necessary condition for fact-finding which is credible and acceptable for the parties to a conflict. It repeated its ability and willingness to engage in inquiries meeting these high standards. Experience shows that inquiries of this kind are important contributions to the re-establishment of peace in a conflict area.

This was the first meeting of the IHFFC members since their election, held last December, by the 69 States parties to the First Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions which have recognised the Commission's competence. The IHFFC has the task to enquire into any fact allegedly constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. It also has the competence to facilitate, through its good offices, the return to a situation of respect of the Conventions and the Protocol. For that purpose, the IHFFC updated its contingency planning.

The IHFFC is composed of 15 members: experts of international humanitarian law, medical doctors and military officers. It is lead by a bureau, newly elected as follows: Prof. Michael Bothe (Germany), President: Prof. Ghalib Djilali (Algeria), 1st Vice-President; Prof. Jeannette Irigoin Barenne (Chile), 2nd Vice-President; Prof. Elzbieta Mikos-Skuza (Poland), 3rd Vice-President.

  ·  03 January 2007
Report 2002 - 2006 [03/01/2007]
The quinquennial report of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission for the period of 2002 – 2006 is now available. To read the report, please click here.

  ·  07 December 2006
ELECTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE IHFFC [07/12/2006]
At the invitation of Switzerland, the depositary state of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols, the fourth diplomatic meeting to elect the members of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission was held in Bern on 7 December. The sixty-eight States party to the first additional protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Convention that have agreed to recognise the competence of the Commission were entitled to participate in this election.


Fifty-eight States took part in the meeting under the chairmanship of H.E Ambassador Paul Seger from Switzerland and the vice-chairmanship of H.E Ambassador Edgar Mohs Villalta from Costa Rica. During the counting of the votes of the first ballot, the acting 2nd vice-president of the Commission, Maj.-Gen. Anthony Rogers, who did not stand for re-election, was invited by the Chairman to share with the delegations present the report of the Commission for t the last term of office (period 2002 - 2006).


After the first ballot seventeen from eighteen candidates obtained the absolute majority.
The following candidates were elected (in the alphabetical order of their state of origin):


Prof. Ghalib Djilali (Algeria)
Prof. Eric David (Belgium)
Dr. Jeanette Irigoin Barenne (Chile)
M. Reinado Botero-Bedoya (Colombia)
Prof. Michael Bothe (Germany)
Col. Charles Garraway (Great Britain)
Prof. Stelios Perrakis (Greece)
Prof. Flavia Lattanzi (Italy)
Prof. Akira Mayama (Japan)
Prof. Ian Refalo (Malta)
Prof. Elzbieta Mikos-Skuza (Poland)
Capt. Valery Knyazev (Russian Federation)
Prof. Miodrag Starcevic (Serbia)
Dr. Gisela Perren-Klingler (Switzerland)
Col. Hugo Corujo Sanseviero (Uruguay)


For the final results containing the number of votes obtained by the elected candidates, please klick here.

The newly-formed Commission was elected for a term of office of five years and will enter into function at its first annual meeting planned to take place in the course of March 2007.

  ·  24 November 2006
Elections 2006 [24/11/2006]
Switzerland, in its capacity as the depositary State of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and of Protocol I additional of 1977, has invited the High Contracting Parties which have agreed to accept the competence of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission in accordance with Article 90 of Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions to a diplomatic meeting to elect the members of the Commission for the period from 2007 until 2011. The diplomatic meeting will take place on 7 December 2006 in Bern in the rooms of the Universal Postal Union.

Read the general information and the program of the diplomatic meeting. All 68 States which have recognised the competence of the Commission and are thus entitled to vote should register to the diplomatic meeting of 7 December. Please use the registration form and return it duly completed to the Secretariat of the Commission

At this diplomatic meeting, the representatives of the High Contracting Parties which have recognised the competence of the Commission will elect, by secret ballot, the fifteen members of the Commission from a list of candidates proposed by certain High Contracting Parties. See the provisional list oft the nominated candidates and the draft rules of procedure.
For more information please contact the Secretariat of the Commission:

Secretariat of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Directorate of International Law
Bundeshaus Nord
3003 Bern

E-mail: anne.stettler@eda.admin.ch
Fax: +41 31 325 07 67

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