In Search of Answers: US Military Investigations and Civilian Harm


For civilians harmed by military operations in war, effective military investigations can help answer important questions, provide a basis for appropriate redress, and ensure a measure of accountability. Investigations also allow the military to learn valuable lessons for avoiding or mitigating similar harm in the future. The record of US military investigations into reports of civilian harm over the last 18 years provides many examples of ingenuity and effort in conducting military investigations under very different circumstances, but also reveals a number of critical gaps and inconsistencies. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute are pleased to release the joint report, "In Search of Answers: U.S. Military Investigations and Civilian Harm". The report describes and analyzes the U.S. military’s standards and procedures for investigations into civilian harm, highlights the factors most important to ensure effective investigations, and identifies the obstacles to effective investigations. The report aims to serve as a tool for civil society groups advocating for improved investigation practices. Finally, it makes recommendations to improve investigations of civilian harm as the Department of Defense develops its new civilian casualties policy. Please join the American Society for International Law (ASIL), Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, along with CIVIC and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, on February 14, at 11:00AM at the American Red Cross (430 17th Street) for a discussion of the report and its findings, featuring the authors (Priyanka Motaparthy and Dan Mahanty) and a distinguished panel including former Marine Corps Legal Advisor Ian Brasure and Washington Director for Human Rights Watch, Andrea Prasow.

Date and Location

Friday, February 14, 2020 - 11:00am to 12:30pm
American Red Cross
Address 1: 
430 17th Street Northwest
Zip Code: