Edited By: Frank Haldemann, Thomas Unger
- Democracy — Immunity from jurisdiction
The United Nations Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity define at the outset a variety of key terms that are repeatedly used in the document, namely: ‘impunity’, ‘serious crimes under international law’, ‘restoration of or transition to democracy and/or peace’, ‘truth commissions’, and ‘archives’. The definitions delimit the scope of the updated Principles and emphasise two things: that the Principles are addressed to states and do not provide guidance for investigative mechanisms and archives by international organisations and non-governmental organisations. Compared to the Joinet Principles, the updated Principles adopt a broader notion of ‘serious crimes under international law’ so as to take into account any future developments. The updated Principles also acknowledge the broader role to be played by truth commissions, complementary and distinct from criminal proceedings.