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Part II The Right to Know, A General Principles, Principle 5 Guarantees to Give Effect to the Right to Know

Thomas Unger

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 5 outlines guarantees that States must take to give effect to the right to know, including judicial and non-judicial mechanisms. This principle focuses on courts, truth commissions and archives, and gives a privileged position to criminal justice. It follows a clear human rights understanding on how guarantees should look like in the fight against impunity. This chapter first provides a contextual and historical background on Principle 5 before discussing its theoretical framework and some practical trends regarding the guarantees designed to give effect to the right to know. It highlights a number of limitations of Principle 5 and proposes a revised version, calling for a more dynamic functional approach that creatively looks at what kind of existing and new interventions could take on the function of guarantees to give effect to the right to know.

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