Marco Longobardo

Remarks on the Impartiality of the Members of the Human Rights Council Fact-finding Missions

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Israel; Palestine; Gaza; Fact-finding Commissions; International Humanitarian Law; Impartiality.

In August 2014 the UN Human Rights Council decided to dispatch an international Fact-finding Commission in order to investigate international humanitarian law and human rights law violations committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory during the Israeli operation «Protective Edge». The President of the Human Rights Council, on 11 and 25 August 2014, appointed William Schabas as the Commission's Chair. The appointment sparked protests, especially from Israel, due to an alleged lack of impartiality of its members. On 2 February 2015 Schabas resigned. The present article enquires on whether the status of members of international fact-finding commissions can be assimilated to that of international judges and, on this basis, tests the plausibility of the allegations against Schabas. The article concludes that the analogy is misplaced. Even assuming that it were not, Schabas was not under a duty to resign.

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