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The Quality Control Project: Documentation, Preliminary Examination, and Investigation

This online symposium gives you fingertip access to the main output of CILRAP’s Quality Control Project (2012-2020): 78 chapters (indexed and linked to below), amounting to 3,228 pages in four books by more than 80 authors, including several world-leading practitioners and experts. They discuss how we can work better in fact-rich cases during three distinct phases: fact-finding or documentation, preliminary examination as well as criminal investigation, covering the period from when NGOs first start to analyse allegations until a criminal trial begins.

This period attracts much less attention than the trial and appeal, but consumes more time and money as it is fundamentally fact-intensive. If serious errors are not corrected during preliminary examination and investigation, entire cases collapse.

Because there is more discretion and less outside involvement during this phase, the will to quality control – by individuals and agencies involved – is essential for resources not to be wasted and miscarriage of justice to be prevented. The Project therefore urges an individual mindset and organisational culture of quality control. The non-offensive term ‘quality control’ should be consolidated as a watchword in criminal justice for core international crimes.

This is already reflected in the final report of the Independent Expert Review of the International Criminal Court, led by Richard J. Goldstone, a contributor to the Quality Control Project since 2013, as well as in the contributions by other leaders in the field such as Xabier Agirre Aranburu, Mads Andenæs, Fatou Bensouda, Gilbert Bitti, Serge Brammertz, Andrew T. Cayley, Wolfgang Kaleck, LIU Daqun, David Re, Martin Scheinin and Carsten Stahn. Governments and civil society should use the term ‘quality control’ to build a momentum around ever-improving performance by those who spend taxpayers’ money on criminal justice for core international crimes.

The symposium concentrates on core international crimes, but it applies to other fact-rich cases such as organised crime, serious fraud, and human trafficking. It is just as relevant to national criminal justice agencies as it is to international jurisdictions and civil society fact-finders. The symposium contains a wealth of insights and suggestions relevant to practitioners, diplomats and scholars.

The Project has been financed by the Norwegian Government, and has enjoyed support from several institutional and individual partners, in particular the Indian Law Institute (Professor Manoj Kumar Sinha, Director of the Institute), the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda), Ambassador Narinder Singh (former Chair, UN International Law Commission), and Justice Madan B. Lokur (former Judge, Supreme Court of India).

The symposium draws on conferences in Florence (May 2013), The Hague (June 2017), and New Delhi (February 2019), and four books published as part of the Project: Quality Control in Fact-Finding (650 pp.), Quality Control in Preliminary Examination: Volume 1 (706 pp.), Quality Control in Preliminary Examination: Volume 2 (764 pp.), and Quality Control in Criminal Investigation (1,108 pp.). The index below gives you one-click and free access to all chapters and forewords in these books.

Quality Control in Fact-Finding

Quality Control in Preliminary Examination

Part 1: The Practice of Preliminary Examination: Realities and Constraints

Part 2: Case Studies or Situation Analysis

Part 3: The Normative Framework of Preliminary Examinations

Part 4: Transparency, Co-operation and Participation in Preliminary Examination

Part 5: Thematicity in Preliminary Examination

Quality Control in Criminal Investigation

Part 1: The Context

Part 2: Evidence and Analysis

Part 3: Systemic Challenges in Case-Preparatory Work-Processes

Part 4: Investigation Plans as Instruments of Quality Control

Part 5: Judicial and Prosecutorial Participation in Investigation and Case Preparation


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