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Part II The Right to Know, C Preservation of and Access to Archives Bearing Witness to Violations, Principle 14 Measures for the Preservation of Archives

Valentina Cadelo, Trudy Huskamp Peterson

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 — Immunity from jurisdiction — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

Principle 14 outlines measures for the preservation of archives, a fundamental corollary to the right to know the truth. In order to preserve governmental and nongovernmental archives, their destruction must be prevented and active steps need to be taken to prolong the life of the materials. Technical measures and penalties must prevent any removal, destruction, concealment or falsification of archives to ensure that there will be no impunity for perpetrators of violations of human rights and/or humanitarian law. Preserving archives is particularly important during periods of governmental transition and regime change. After providing a contextual and historical background on Principle 14, this chapter discusses its theoretical framework as well as state practice on public records and archives.

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