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6 Iustinianus Primus L. Rev. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/iusplr6 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Natalija Kukoska  M.Sc.'

                         The Right to the truth and Truth Commissions


This article initially will attempt to locate the sources and the legal status of the right to the
truth, in the field of international law. For this purpose the article seeks to trace the evolution of
the concept of the right to know the truth about past events regarding  the execution of heinous
crimes, by  entering in the field of transitional justice. Attention will be put on the individual
character of this right existent in the judicial and legislative processes; as well on the collective
character of this right which is called upon in the aftermath of the violent conflict or oppressive
regime, for uncovering and  investigating the serious human rights violations.

   Keywords:  truth, right, transitional justice, truth commission, victims, memory, narrative

   1.  Legal  conception  of the right to the truth and the emergence  of truth commissions

   With  the emergence   of the right to the truth at the international, regional and national levels,
this right has acquired legal value that has ambivalent  nature that puts the right to the truth,
somewhere on the threshold of a legal norm and narrative device.2 Notwithstanding the
proclamation  of this right as inalienable and  autonomous3,  foremost  international authorities
have  characterized this right as one of the emerging principles in international law in view of
the fact that the precept has not been established as a norm clearly and unquestionably validated
in an international treaty.' Variety of interpretations, relegate the rank of the right to the truth to

1 Teaching and Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the Institute of International Law and International
Relations, Faculty of Law Iustinianus Primus, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Republic of
2 Y. Naqvi, 'The Right to Truth in International Law: Fact or Fiction', International Review of the Red Cross, Vol
88, No. 862, June 2006, p. 273.
' UN Human Rights Council, UN Human Rights Council: Right to the Truth, Report of the Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights, 7 June 2007, A/HRC/5/7, available at:
http://www.refworld.org/docid/46822ce22.html [accessed 4 May 2014]
4Juan E. Mendez, The Right to Truth, in Christopher C. Joyner (ed.), Reining in Impunity for
International Crimes and Serious Violations of Fundamental Human Rights: Proceedings of the Siracusa
Conference 17-21 September 1998, St. Agnes, Er6s, 1998, p. 264 cited in Yasmin Naqvi, The Right to Truth in
International Law: Fact or Fiction?, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol 88, No. 862, June, 2006, p. 263.


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