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Part II The Right to Know, B Commissions of Inquiry, Principle 6 The Establishment and Role of Truth Commissions

Ilya Nuzov, Mark Freeman

From: The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary

Edited By: Frank Haldemann, Thomas Unger

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Right to truth — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

Principle 6 is concerned with the establishment and role of truth commissions, outlined in two paragraphs. The Principle recommends criteria that can be applied ‘to the greatest extent possible’. The first paragraph encompasses three different aspects of the issue: the preliminary ‘decision to establish a truth commission’, the subsequent creation of its ‘terms of reference’, and the related determination of its ‘composition’. In the second paragraph, the term ‘role’ refers to the functional end-goal that a commission is expected to serve: ‘securing recognition of such parts of the truth as were formerly denied’. After providing a historical and contextual background on Principle 6, this chapter discusses its theoretical framework and the ways in which the Principle is exercised in practice.

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