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The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding$
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Philip Alston and Sarah Knuckey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190239480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.001.0001

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Victims and Witnesses in Fact-Finding Commissions

Victims and Witnesses in Fact-Finding Commissions

Pawns or Principal Pieces?

(p.175) 9. Victims and Witnesses in Fact-Finding Commissions
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding

Rosette Muzigo-Morrison

Oxford University Press

In the last two decades, several UN-commissioned fact-finding investigations have acted as precursors to international criminal prosecution institutions. These fact-finding missions are crucial to gathering the evidence necessary to hold international violators of human rights accountable. A key component of these missions is the testimony of victims and witnesses, especially because physical evidence is often lacking. This chapter considers the issues of victims and witnesses in fact-finding commissions by first analyzing the rights of victims and witnesses and responsibilities that investigators have for respecting those rights. The chapter then examines current practices and how those impact victims’ rights with recommendations for improving practice for investigations that are occurring in the field. Finally, the chapter provides recommendations for the international human rights community.

Keywords:   victims, witnesses, investigators’, responsibilities, recommendations for future, field investigation

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