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The right to the truth in international law: fact or fiction?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2006

Yasmin Naqvi
Affiliation:
The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva

Abstract

The right to the truth has emerged as a legal concept at the national, regional and international levels, and relates to the obligation of the state to provide information to victims or to their families or even society as a whole about the circumstances surrounding serious violations of human rights. This article unpacks the notion of the right to the truth and tests the normative strength of the concept against the practice of states and international bodies. It also considers some of the practical implications of turning “truth” into a legal right, particularly from the criminal law perspective.

Type
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
Copyright
2006 International Committee of the Red Cross

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