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Commissions of inquiry and procedural fairness

Bisset, A. ORCID: (2017) Commissions of inquiry and procedural fairness. In: Henderson, C. (ed.) Commissions of Inquiry: Problems and Prospects. Hart Publishing, Oxford, pp. 309-335. ISBN 9781782258766

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The operation of Commissions of Inquiry (CoIs) raises a host of concerns related to procedural fairness. Despite this, there is no single set of standardized guidelines that apply to commission practice. CoIs do not typically operate in accordance with pre-determined standards of procedural fairness and past CoIs have adopted different methods and worked to different standards. In light of their increasingly high profile and the frequency of their establishment, this chapter considers CoI adherence to standards of procedural fairness. It argues that in order to enhance their credibility and the reliability of their findings CoIs ought to operate to a predetermined and robust set of procedural safeguards. It additionally draws on the experience of one particular form of investigative commission, the truth commission, in order to evaluate the possibilities and identify the difficulties of adhering to standards of fairness in fact-finding proceedings. The chapter shows that while ensuring procedural fairness is desirable it can be difficult to achieve in practice without compromising other aspects of mandate fulfilment.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:71223
Publisher:Hart Publishing

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