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Part II The Right to Know, A General Principles, Principle 2 The Inalienable Right to the Truth

Dermot Groome

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

Principle 2 is concerned with the inalienable right to truth, a right that arises from the right to know and obliges governments to establish mechanisms to facilitate the revelation of the truth about serious violations of human rights. The right to truth has been explicitly incorporated into several international instruments and, in 2010, became expressly guaranteed in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED). In practice, the right to truth is realized through laws enabling requests for state-held information; archives; truth commissions; national and international courts; and human rights commissions. After providing a contextual and historical overview of Principle 2, this chapter describes its normative (legal/ethical) foundation, 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.

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