right to truth

“Right to Truth” and Memory Laws: General Rules and Practical Implications

Author: Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias
Institution: Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland)
Author: Grażyna Baranowska
Institution: Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland)
Year of publication: 2018
Source: Show
Pages: 97–109
DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2018107
PDF: ppsy/47-1/ppsy2018107.pdf

The “right to truth” relates to the obligation of the state to provide information about the circumstances surrounding serious violations of human rights. Despite its increasing recognition, the concept raises questions as to its scope and implementation as well as its existence as a free-standing right. Similarly, “memory laws” relate to the way states deal with their past. However, there are certain „memory laws” that, while officially serving as a guarantee for accessing historical truth, lead to its deformation. As a result, an “alternative” truth, based on the will of the legislators, is being imposed. In this article, the authors elaborate on the general nature of the new legal phenomenon of the „right to truth”, as a tool of transitional justice, in particular in the context of both providing and abusing historical truth by the legislators, through the instrument of “memory laws”.


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