States’ Duty to Investigate Gross Human Rights Violations
States have an obligation to investigate war crimes committed by their nationals or armed forces during armed conflict. Despite the general obligation to investigate, the legislation offers little guidance as to the precise nature or scope of the investigation to be carried out. In a nutshell, to be compliant with international human rights law, the investigation must be conducted quickly, throughly and effectively, impartially and independently, with adequate public scrutiny. Although it is established that the obligation of states to investigate also applies to citizens, in general, nationals of a state who are not part of the armed forces, the extent of the obligation to investigate in this regard has yet to be explored.