The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) announced Thursday that they have assembled an international Commission of Inquiry to investigate racist police violence against people of African descent in the United States.
In June of 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) passed a resolution to prepare a report on “systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies.” Human rights advocates, including the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, further petitioned the HRC to establish a Commission of Inquiry, a formal fact-finding body, to study the issue. The HRC declined to establish a such a Commission.
Now, the NCBL, IADL, and NLG have established their own international Commission of Inquiry, “recognizing that killings and maimings of unarmed Black people by police authorities in the United States escalate unabated and that effective domestic remedies are either non-existent or exacerbated by the policies of the federal government of the United States.” The Commission is composed of experts from around the world who specialize in human rights.
The commission will hold hearings between January 18 and February 6, 2021, and present their findings to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights in time for their findings to be integrated in the HRC’s report. The Commission will also release their findings to the public.