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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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The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding

The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding

Challenges and Opportunities

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding
Source:
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding
Author(s):

Philip Alston

Sarah Knuckey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.003.0001

This introduction looks at the extent to which fact-finding endeavors have multiplied in recent years, which has often brought considerable controversy in its wake. The chapter defines the scope of the book, explores what might be meant by the phrase “human rights fact-finding,” and looks at the interplay between fact-finding at the international and domestic level. It then takes up two important developments that are changing the landscape of the practice. First, investigative methods are advancing. Innovation and expansion allow for a deepening understanding of human rights violations and greatly improves the amount and nature of available evidence. Second, critical orientations are more common, and practitioners are modifying practice in light of their concerns about the ethical posture and practical effects of their work. The chapter also raises the question of whether human rights fact-finding should be subjected to an international code or shared rules.

Keywords:   human rights fact-finding, international-domestic interplay, investigative methods, critical orientation, code

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