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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Over the past decade, professionals working to reform justice systems and reestablish the rule of law in countries that previously had repressive regimes developed a framework for thinking about the demands that arise for dealing with the brutal heritage of government repression. The framework has four parts: holding perpetrators accountable, ensuring that there is no recurrence by reforming institutions and vetting personnel, seeking the truth of what happened to individuals and to the society as a whole, and obtaining reparation for the harm done, personally or collectively. Each of these demands can be met through various mechanisms, but all of them depend on archives. Rebuilding the justice sector and the nation through access to archives is a vital element in coming to terms with the past. The role of archivists as duty bearers for human rights is increasingly important.

Keywords: archives, justice, repression, rule of law, reform, transitional justice, public history, truth commission, reparations

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