The Transnational Human Rights Review

Document Type


English Abstract

International human rights fact-finding (hereinafter "IHRFF") has been defined, rather generously, as: A method of ascertaining facts through the evaluation and compilation of various information sources ... [which] serves to illuminate the circumstances, causes, consequences and aftermath of an event from a systematic collection of facts. Understood in this way, IHRFF is not a new activity. Rather, various organizations, groups, and entities have engaged in it for a very long time. Indeed, issues relating to its ways and means, conceptual and operational problems, and best practices have occupied the attention of many practitioners, and cringed the brows of many of scholars, for a fairly long time. However, recent years have witnessed an increased deployment of IHRFF in response to alleged violations of human rights in a range of climes. This may be a possible justification for the renewed attention that it appears to receiving among academics and practitioners alike. In particular, given the increasing salience of IHRFF and the tremendous power that its practitioners can increasingly exert in both domestic and world affairs, contemporary scholarly commentators appear to be justified in renewing their quest to understand IHRFF and, if necessary, stimulate its thoughtful reform. This article is a modest attempt to contribute to the emergent process of the renewed study of that praxis.