Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States

Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States

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15 Dec 2015
9789210571937 (PDF)

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This publication focuses on the means to strengthen archives through the identification of good practice for the management of different types of records and archives, highlighting considerations and issues for reform, and setting out steps and strategies to strengthen archives. The first chapter sets out the legal framework for the right to know the truth, and describes archives and the management of records at the national level. Chapter II presents steps and strategies to consider during the reform of national archives. Chapter III discusses the records used by transitional justice processes. Chapter IV sets out considerations for the management and preservation of records produced by transitional justice mechanisms. The final chapter looks at the role of the international community.
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  • Introduction
    Archives are vital to the successful operation and outcome of all transitional justice processes. They are crucial to the exercise of individual rights, such as the right to know the truth about the circumstances in which violations took place and, in the event of death or disappearance, about the victims’ fate. Archives also play a key role in ensuring an undistorted written record, and the right of each people to know the truth about its past.
  • Archives and the right to know the truth
  • Reforming archival institutions and managing archives
  • Using records in transitional justice processes
    The needs of transitional justice institutions for archives are likely to be at their peak at a time when archival institutions are being reformed and archival processes are under way. All transitional justice processes require documents. Some records may be useful for several transitional justice processes, but in most cases the records required for a vetting programme are different from those required for a reparations process and both are different from those required for prosecutions or truth-seeking.
  • Managing and preserving the records of transitional justice institutions
    Records of a transitional justice institution must be competently managed while the institution is active. When the institution completes its work, its records need to be appraised and those judged to be permanently valuable transferred directly to an archival institution.
  • The role of the international community
  • Annex summary
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