New Essay on SSRN

by Kevin Jon Heller

I have just uploaded a new essay to SSRN, entitled “The International Commission of Inquiry on Libya: A Critical Analysis.”  The essay is a chapter of a book on international commissions of inquiry that is being edited by the LSE’s Jens Meierhenrich.  Here is the introduction:

This chapter provides a critical assessment of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, established by the United Nations Human Rights Council in February 2011 to investigate violations of international law committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The chapter is divided into four sections. Section I provides a brief summary of the Commission’s creation, investigation, and findings. Section II assesses whether the Commission’s mandate and methods satisfied international standards of independence and impartiality. Section III raises a number of questions about the legal framework the Commission applied. Finally, Section IV asks whether, in light of the law it applied and the facts that it found, the Commission’s legal conclusions withstand analysis.

The chapter concludes — oversimplifying a bit — that the the Libya Commission was independent and impartial, generally got the law right (with some significant exceptions), and produced a wealth of useful evidence of international-law violations by the Qadhafi government and by the thuwar.  But it also argues that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Commission exhibited an unfortunate tendency to downplay violations committed by the thuwar and by NATO.

As always, comments most welcome!

One Response

  1. Opinio Juris readers might also be interested in a book I recently co-authored on Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO Fact-Finding.  We examine fact-finding missions relating to Kosovo, the DRC, Colombia, the 2008 war b/w Georgia and Russia, as well as the 2006 Lebanon War. 

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