Dr. Coster van Voorhout Presents on Evidence-Based Fact-Finding

Upon the invitation of the University of Ghent, Jill Coster van Voorhout, Researcher under the Rule of Law Program, presented a paper and participated in panel sessions during the conference on Global Justice: New directions in research and advocacy on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 September.

Fellow conference speakers included heads and directors of Global Justice institutes and centers such as Professor Ashok Acharya from the University of Delhi, India; Professor Sigrid Sterckx, Ghent University, Belgium; Professor Thomas Pogge, Yale University, United States; Professor Jeroen van den Hoven, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands; Professor Heather Widdows, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; and Professor Harvey Rubin, University of Pennsylvania, United States.

Coster van Voorhout took part in a panel entitled ‘Governance of Global Justice: conceptual issues and broadening research horizons’ which considered complex challenges and opportunities relating to the promotion of global justice. Particular attention from an interdisciplinary perspective was given to the need to forge innovative partnerships, as a precondition for generating evidence-based responses to, among other issues, global health, sustainable development and justice for victims of gross violations of international law.

In her remarks, Coster van Voorhout argued that fact-finding by commissions of inquiry and special rapporteurs as well as courts and tribunals requires an evidence base stemming from an emerging interdisciplinary science of evidence. She proposes evidence-based tools for investigative methodologies that ultimately also have the potential to assist interoperability between non-criminal justice and criminal justice fact-finders. She contended that this could also enhance the effectiveness of accountability measures for violations of international law.

With reference to broadening research horizons, Coster van Voorhout stressed the role that civil society organizations play in informing policy-makers about the challenges which global justice challenges face, as well as feasible solutions. Coster van Voorhout concluded that this emerging network of Global Justice institutes and centers might have the potential to bring true interdisciplinary perspective to global justice endeavors.

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