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The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary edited by Haldemann, Frank; Unger, Thomas (22nd March 2018)

Part III The Right to Justice, C Restrictions on Rules of Law Justified By Action to Combat Impunity, Principle 24 Restrictions and Other Measures Relating to Amnesty

Ilia Maria Siatitsa, Marieke Wierda

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, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 14 October 2019

Subject(s):
Right to effective remedy — Democracy — Immunity from jurisdiction — Amnesty — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

Principle 24 deals with restrictions and other measures relating to amnesty. It requires that no amnesty should take precedence over the obligation of states to prosecute, try, and punish the perpetrators of serious crimes under international law. Through the impunity principles, the obligation to prosecute becomes intertwined with the prohibition of amnesties. An amnesty has long been considered a valuable tool to end conflicts or to ease transitions to democracy. In reality, however, state practice on amnesties remains inconsistent and the debate on amnesties continues to persist. After providing a contextual and historical background on Principle 24, this chapter discusses its theoretical framework, focusing on issues arising from the obligation to prosecute, the right to remedy, amnesties in international criminal law, and the right to refuse amnesty. It also examines how amnesties are used by states to end armed conflicts.

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