Law-Secured Narratives of the Past in Poland in Light of International Human Rights Law Standards
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Given the whole spectrum of doubts and controversies that arise in discussions about laws affecting historical memory (and their subcategory of memory laws), the question of assessing them in the context of international standards of human rights protection – and in particular the European system of human rights protection – is often overlooked. Thus this article focuses on the implications and conditions for introducing memory laws in light of international human rights standards using selected examples of various types of recently-adopted Polish memory laws as case studies. The authors begin with a brief description of the phenomenon of memory laws and the most signifcant threats that they pose to the protection of international human rights standards. The following sections analyse selected Polish laws affecting historical memory vis-à-vis these standards. The analysis covers non-binding declaratory laws affecting historical memory, and acts that include criminal law sanctions. The article attempts to sketch the circumstances linking laws affecting historical memory with the human rights protection standards, including those entailed both in binding treaties and other instruments of international law.
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