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Part I Combating Impunity: General Obligations, Principle 1 General Obligations of States to Take Effective Action to Combat Impunity

Naomi Roht-Arriaza

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

Human rights — Immunity from jurisdiction

In general, Principle 1 is the introduction and cornerstone to the Principles. It defines state responsibility for the interrelated obligations spelled out in the Principles, emphasizing the mandatory, interrelated, non-hierarchical nature of these obligations in addition to responsibility for the underlying violations. Principle 1 is based on then-existing jurisprudence of the regional human rights courts and the United Nations human rights bodies, as well as from academic and non-governmental commentary. This chapter first provides a historical background and discusses the contemporary context in which Principle 1 is applied. It then describes the normative (legal/ethical) foundation of the Principle, focusing on how its interpretation is influenced by international law and how it relates to notions of transitional justice. It also analyzes the applications of the Principle in practice before concluding with an assessment of some of its ambiguities and weaknesses.

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