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|International Commissions of Inquiry|
|decisions · documents · jurisdiction · procedure · structure · timeline|
The jurisdiction of the commissions is purely voluntary, is
defined by the Inquiry Convention, and is strictly limited to questions of fact.
Article 14 of the 1899 Convention provides that the Report of the Commission
has in no way the character of an Arbitral Award. It leaves the conflicting
Powers entire freedom as to the effect to be given to this statement. Article
35 of the 1907 Convention has an analogous provision. In addition, Article 9 of
both Conventions recommends that international commissions of inquiry shall be
instituted in respect of the 'differences of an international nature involving
neither honor nor vital interests.' Also, the commission has no jurisdiction to
issue orders requiring the appearance of witnesses or experts, instead it always
has to act through the government on whose territory the respective person is
located. Similarly, if the commission chooses to visit some location in respect
of its proceedings it can do so only with the prior consent of the parties and
that of the local government.
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