Historical Policy in a Democracy and Limits Set to it by the Human Rights Law
In recent years, governments in states in the Council of Europe have increasingly resorted to legal means to conduct their historical policies, often to the detriment of individuals’ rights. Memory laws, i.e. legal provisions restricting freedom of expression under the criminal law sanction, have garnered the most scholarly attention in the study of this phenomenon. However, the governments also forayed into constitutional, administrative, social security, and other areas of law to support specific historical narratives and settle scores or come to terms with the past. Importantly, increased legislative activity in the domain of ‘law and memory’ often occurs in states where democratic standards are being intentionally dismantled. In this panel, we discuss what limits does the international human rights law and constitutional law set to state’s attempts at restricting individual’s rights for the sake of historical policy. Panelists discuss examples from Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Russia.