Available in Russian
Author: Aleksandr Evseev
Keywords: the right to truth; to deal with the past; international criminal law; war crimes; international law of human rights; enforced disappearances
This article deals with theoretical and practical problems arising in connection with the recognition of a new human right — the right to truth. The genetic origin of this right is traced to violations of it that were widespread in Latin American countries in the 1970s and 1980s. As development of this right spread to the European continent, the right to truth grew from a local norm into a global procedural guarantee of the international legal status of the person, often supported by constitutional norms. This article emphasizes the need to ensure this right by an appropriate institutional structure of “transitional justice” – by so-called “truth commissions”, disclosure of archives, and legal examination of the facts of state terror as revealed through judicial proceedings. The significance of decisions recognizing the right to truth made by regional courts of human rights, primarily the Inter-American and European ones, is emphasized. The article focuses on the international legal nature of this right even though it is not yet possible to qualify it as a customary norm of international law. It concludes with a discussion of opportunities for scholarly research on this issue.
About the author: Aleksandr Evseev – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.
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