Past eventResearch Event

UN Fact-Finding and International Criminal Investigations: Do Either Bring Accountability?

22 January 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Chatham House, London


Sir Nigel Rodley, Professor of Law, University of Essex; Member of the UN Human Rights Committee; UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (1993-2001); Member of the Bahrain International Commission of Inquiry
Alex Whiting, Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School; Investigation Coordinator and Prosecution Coordinator, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (2010-13)
Chair: Elizabeth Wilmshurst, CMG, Associate Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House



An increasing number of fact-finding procedures are being established by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law. At the same time, the International Criminal Court and other UN-established courts and tribunals carry out their own fact-finding investigations into the commission of international crimes. The mandates, methods and standards of proof for these investigations are often unclear, overlapping and controversial. 

The speakers will discuss whether fact-finding missions are overstepping their mandates and whether there is a conflict between the work of UN investigators and international courts. They will also consider whether ICC investigators have relied too much on ‘intermediaries’ in their own fact-finding work, and how the system of fact-finding could be improved to ensure greater accuracy and accountability.

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session. 

This event is hosted by Chatham House and Doughty Street Chambers.