Hosts: Switzerland, Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, and International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
Where: room 7/8
The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC; www.ihffc.org) will introduce itself as a co-operative confidence-building mechanism between parties to an armed conflict, whether international or non-international, aiming at strengthening compliance with international humanitarian law. The side event will highlight that the IHFFC operates in a different mode than accountability mechanisms, building upon neutrality, independence and confidentiality. Discussants will highlight the IHFFC’s confidence-building potential as a contribution to strengthening international humanitarian law. Contributors: Colonel Charles Garraway (Member of the IHFFC, Fellow at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex) and Prof. Ove Bring (Professor emeritus in international law, Former Legal Adviser to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration).
A panel discussion will then focus on the methodological dilemmas faced by practitioners engaged in monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) on violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. The ad hoc nature of MRF missions has hindered the process of learning lessons from past practice, leading practitioners to have a sense that they are ‘re-inventing the wheel’ on each mission. This panel will examine key issues of MRF methodology, focusing specifically on the results of a multi-annual research project on the topic undertaken by the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) with the support of the Government of Switzerland. Contributors: Judge Philippe Kirsch (Former Chairman, United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Libya), Prof. Claude Bruderlein (Senior Researcher, HPCR), Ms Cynthia Petrigh (Founder, Beyond [peace]), Dr Théo Boutruche (Independent Consultant in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law).