Guatemala: Amicus Curaie on the right to truth

On 20 June, the ICJ submitted an amicus curiae on the right to truth to the Inter American Court of Human Rights regarding a case of enforced disappearance (Bamaca) from Guatemala.

On 27 June the ICJ was advised that the submission had been forwarded to the President of the Court, Mr. Antonio Trindade for consideration. For legal reasons, we are unable to disclose the full text. Once the case progresses, additional information will be placed on the web.

The ICJ submission states, inter alia, that the right to truth :
–  is an established principle of international humanitarian law
–  is implicit in emerging principles of international human rights law as stated by the UN Human Rights Committee and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights
–  constitutes a form of redress for human rights violations as per the jurisprudence of the Inter American Commission of Human Rights and the draft UN Principles on the Right to Restitution, Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Human Rights Violations
–  can be invoked individually or collectively (extending to the general community) as per the jurisprudence of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and draft UN Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity
–  is implicit in the American Convention on Human Rights in so much as Article 29 prohibits the Convention’s interpretation to preclude “rights or guarantees that are inherent in the human personality”. It is submitted that the right to truth is caught by this provision.
–  extends not only to the fate of the disappeared but the reason for the disappearance, the totality of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and the identity of all persons complicit in the act.This is consistent with the established doctrine of state responsibility under international human rights law.

Note: A precis of the brief is available in French.

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