The IRCT welcomes the recent appointment of dedicated forensic doctor and member of the Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG), Morris V. Tidball-Binz M.D, to the post of UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. First instated in 1982, this distinguished role empowers an independent expert to investigate and issue country-specific recommendations on specific or urgent situations relating to the right to life around the globe. The same position has previously been held by a long list of word-leading human rights activists and experts including Ms. Asma Jahangir, Mr. Philip Alston, Mr. Christof Heyns and, the most recent mandate-holder, Ms. Agnes Callamard.
During his career thus far, Mr. Tidball-Binz has carried out forensic case work in the course of human rights investigations and humanitarian action in over 70 countries and across all world regions. He has served as advisor for numerous projects worldwide involving the application of forensic science to human rights and humanitarian activities and is actively involved in training and dissemination world-wide of forensic sciences applied to humanitarian action, including for the management of the dead and resolving the missing from armed conflicts, catastrophes and migration.
Mr. Tidball-Binz is equally a prolific researcher and academic, currently an Adjunct Clinical Professor in Forensic Medicine at Monash University. He has previously held senior positions at Penal Reformed International, the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and Amnesty International. Most recently, he founded and directed the ICRC’s Forensic Unit until 2017, when he became the Forensic Manager for the ICRC’s Missing Persons Project.
As a highly valued IFEG expert and formerly one of the inaugural members of the Torture Journal Editorial Advisory Board, the IRCT have had the pleasure of working closely with Mr. Tidball-Binz for over a decade. As the IRCT Secretary-General, Lisa Henry, has responded:
“Working in close coordination with the Independent Forensic Expert Group, the IRCT has been a first-hand witness to Mr. Tidball-Binz’ tireless efforts and wealth of expertise in the field of forensic investigation. We applaud his appointment as the new UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings. I am convinced that in this capacity he will achieve tremendous advances and significant results in the prevention and documentation of some of the world’s gravest human rights violations.”
The IRCT and IFEG group sincerely look forward to supporting the work of Mr. Tidball-Binz’ mandate, the details of which are expected to be published within the coming month.