President of Human Rights Council appoints members of investigative body in Ukraine


30 March 2022

Ukrainian (Word)

Geneva 30 March 2022 -  The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Federico Villegas (Argentina), today announced the appointment of Erik Møse of Norway, Jasminka Džumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Pablo de Greiff of Colombia to serve as the three independent members of the recently established Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine. Mr. Møse will serve as Chair of the Commission.

With resolution 49/1 of 4 March 2022, adopted at an "urgent debate", the Human Rights Council decided to establish an independent international commission of inquiry, comprising three experts appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council. The Commission of Inquiry was mandated to “investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law and related crimes in the context of the aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation.” 

The three-person Commission was further requested “to collect, consolidate and analyse evidence of such violations and abuses, including their gender dimension, and to systematically record and preserve all information, documentation and evidence, including interviews, witness testimony and forensic material, consistent with international law standards, in view of any future legal proceedings”.

The President of the Human Rights Council sought recommendations from various stakeholders and expressions of interest to find highly qualified and impartial candidates to fill these positions.

The Commission, established for an initial duration of one year, was requested “to establish the facts, circumstances and root causes of any such violations and abuses” and to complement, consolidate and build upon the work of the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine in close coordination with the mission and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The investigative body was also requested to identify, where possible, individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations and related crimes committed in Ukraine to ensure they are held accountable. It was mandated to make recommendations with a view to ending impunity and ensuring criminal responsibility, and access to justice for victims. 

The Commissioners, who will serve in their personal capacities, were requested to present an oral update on their work to the Human Rights Council at its 51st session in September 2022 and a comprehensive written report at its 52nd session in March 2023.  They will also submit a report to the UN General Assembly at its 77th session.

Biographies of the members of the Commission of Inquiry

Mr. Erik Møse (Norway) is a former judge of the European Court of Human Rights, former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a former judge of the Supreme Court of Norway. He is an expert in international human rights law and international criminal law. He chaired the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights, the expert committee drafting the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and has published extensively on human rights. Having presided over an international criminal tribunal, he has a profound understanding of human rights investigations and the collection of evidence.

Ms. Jasminka Džumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is the Human Rights Ombudsperson of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She holds a doctorate in law and has more than 30 years of experience of the judiciary, human rights and international relations. From 2016 to 2019, she was a member of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and also served as its Vice-Chairperson. From 2007 to 2008 she discharged the duties of the Regional Program of Justice and Civil Society Coordinator at Western Balkans within the International Commission on Missing Persons. Furthermore, from 2010 to 2015, she was the first female member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances since its establishment in 1980 and, in 2014-15, she was Vice-Chairperson.

Pablo de Greiff (Colombia) was the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence (2012-2018). He holds a PhD in Political Theory. He has combined a distinguished academic career with a long trajectory as a practitioner, advising multilateral and national institutions and civil society organizations on justice issues in countries around the globe.  From 2001 to 2014 he was Director of Research at the International Centre for Transitional Justice. Since 2014 has been Senior Fellow and Director of the Transitional Justice Program at the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice at the School of Law, New York University.