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The right to the truth in international law: fact or fiction?

30-06-2006 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 862, by Yasmin Naqvi

This article unpacks the notion of the right to the truth and tests the normative strength of the concept against the practice of states and international bodies. It also considers some of the practical implications of turning “truth” into a legal right, particularly from the criminal law perspective.

   

Yasmin Naqvi
is a Ph.D. candidate in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva. She holds a DES in International Law (Graduate Institute of International Studies) and a BA/LLB with honours (University of Tasmania) 

 
Abstract 
The right to the truth has emerged as a legal concept at the national, regional and international levels, and relates to the obligation of the state to provide information to victims or to their families or even society as a whole about the circumstances surrounding serious violations of human rights. This article unpacks the notion of the right to the truth and tests the normative strength of the concept against the practice of states and international bodies. It also considers some of the practical implications of turning “truth” into a legal right, particularly from the criminal law perspective.  

   
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