The McGowan Davis/Schabas Inquiry: The UN Legal Pogrom

The Mandate: Israel is the villain, Palestinians are the victims, now investigate

The Origins of the McGowan Davis/Schabas Inquiry

The mandate of the McGowan Davis/Schabas Inquiry arises from a resolution of the UN Human Rights Council. It was adopted at a special session of the Council that was held on July 23, 2014.

The session was convened at the request of Egypt (on behalf of the Arab Group of states), Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Niger (on behalf of the African Group of states), Pakistan (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and the Palestinian representative. The request was supported by 17 of the 47 state members of the Human Rights Council: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

At the special session, the Council adopted Resolution S-21/1, entitled: "Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem".

The vote on the resolution was 29 in favor (Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Vietnam), 1 against (United States) and 17 abstentions (Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Romania, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and United Kingdom).

The Mandate of the McGowan/Davis Schabas Inquiry

The resolution contains the following mandate:

"The Human Rights Council...Decides to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry, to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, whether before, during or after, to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible, to 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 and means to protect civilians against any further assaults, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session."