The duty to investigate in armed conflict

States are being called to account for their actions in armed conflict by reference to a duty to investigate violations of applicable law, largely by analogy to standards of international human rights law. There is however a lack of accepted standardised norms regarding the content of this duty in situations of armed conflict.

This research project seeks to elucidate the specific scope and content of the duty to investigate in armed conflict, and establish the ways in which parties to a conflict can best implement this duty under obligations of international law. The research is currently focusing on the developing State practice in this area, as well as developments in international law, in order to clarify the standards to which militaries and States should be held accountable.

Other phases of the project include looking at what can and should trigger a duty to investigate, as well as application of the duty to non-State actors and multi-national operations. The Project has received funding from the Swiss and Dutch Governments, through the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

Research team

For more information, please contact Claire Simmons.

Contact Details

Claire Simmons

Research Officer

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ

01206 876516