Interactions between transitional justice and constitution-building: the cross-fertilization at the global level of an autonomous “right to truth”?

Both transitional justice and constitution-building require a simultaneous retrospective and prospective approach: looking forward with a vision of a sustainable political peace, while acknowledging and seeking to address past causes of conflict and repression. Given this observation, we can see the emergence at the global level of a “right to truth,” mainly (but not exclusively) in cases of gross violations of fundamental rights. As part of this trend, to what extent have the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and, more recently, the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged a right to the truth? To what extent have these courts defined its scope as a fundamental right? From a constitutional perspective, does a positive obligation lie with the State to guarantee such a right to truth? How can constitution-building further or hinder the realization of this right?

(Unversity of Insubria, Italy)