Today, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, announced the publication of the Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death. The Protocol contains legal and forensic standards for investigating potential breaches of the right to life around the world. It applies primarily to investigations undertaken during times of peace, but also covers killings during conflict.
"Proper investigations into suspicious deaths are an integral part of the protection of the right to life," said the UN High Commissioner. "Investigations are the key to accountability… The revised Protocol will be an indispensable tool in ensuring effective and fair trials and other forms of accountability," the High Commissioner added. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, hailed the Protocol as "an invaluable tool that will help guide investigations into suspicious deaths, ensure accountability for violations of the right to life, and bring truth, justice and reparation to the families of victims."
In his role advising the former Special Rapporteur, Toby Fisher coordinated a team of leading experts from around the world to draft the legal aspects of the Protocol.
The Minnesota Protocol can be found here.