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Part II The Right to Know, C Preservation of and Access to Archives Bearing Witness to Violations, Principle 17 Specific Measures Relating to Archives Containing Names

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 privacy — Right to truth — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

Principle 17 requires that States provide specific safeguards to individuals who exercise their right of access to archives, in particular to know whether their personal information is included therein. This principle reflects contemporary standards related to access to archives, freedom of information, data protection and any other situation related to privacy rights. Every person is entitled to know whether his/her name appears in State archives and, if so, by virtue of their right to access, shall be given the opportunity to challenge the validity of the information concerning them. After providing a contextual and historical background on Principle 17, this chapter discusses its theoretical framework as well as the ways in which European institutions have addressed the issue of holding of names and personal information by state agents. It also highlights some of the problems and potential implications raised by Principle 17.

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