Procedure: Recognition of the competence of the Commission
One of the most important characteristics of the Commission is that it may conduct an investigation only with the consent of the parties involved. A State does not automatically recognize the Commission's competence by signing or ratifying Protocol I, but only by separately affirming that recognition. A State may make a comprehensive declaration, thereby permanently recognizing the Commission's competence, or it may consent to the investigation of a particular dispute.
A comprehensive declaration can be made when signing, ratifying, or acceding to Protocol I, or at any subsequent time.
While there is no standard form, the State must unambiguously announce that it recognizes the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission as set out in Article 90 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The declaration must be submitted to the depository, i.e. the Swiss Confederation.
A party to an armed conflict that has not made a comprehensive declaration may accept the Commission's competence on a temporary basis, that acceptance being limited to the specific conflict in which it is involved. This form of recognition does not constitute permanent acceptance of the Commission's competence.
IHFFC International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
Kochergasse 103003 BernSwitzerlandTel +41 (0)58 465 42 00