Schabas to head UN commission on Palestine

Professor William Schabas

Professor William Schabas

Professor William Schabas, honorary chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, has been appointed to a new UN Commission of Inquiry charged with investigating purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip, since the conflict began on June 13.

Professor Schabas will head up the three-person commission, details of which were announced on Monday.

The Irish Centre for Human Rights this week welcomed Prof Schabas’ appointment to the independent commission.

Prof Schabas, a Canadian academic renowned for his work on international criminal and human rights law, was director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway from 2000 to 2009 prior to the appointment of Professor Michael O’Flaherty to the post. He served on the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission until 2004, and was also a member of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in Human Rights.

The UN commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults.

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