- Human rights — Immunity from jurisdiction
Principle 38 calls for the repeal or abolition of laws and institutions that contribute to impunity for human rights violations. It considers habeas corpus as a fundamental and non-derogable individual right, and calls for the enactment of ‘legislative measures necessary to ensure protection of human rights and to safeguard democratic institutions and processes’, along with a ‘comprehensive review of legislation and administrative regulations’. This chapter first provides a contextual and historical background on Principle 38 before discussing its theoretical framework and practice. It shows how this Principle has evolved from an initial narrower focus only on emergency legislation and courts in preparatory reports and prior versions to a broader focus on legislative and institutional reform to combat impunity. It also cites examples of legislative reform in countries such as Morocco, Guatemala, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, particularly where truth commission recommendations have addressed the matter.
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