School of Law

States do proclaim their own past and present wrongdoings, even when international law does not require it

Professor Eric Heinze discusses the complexities of the role of the state in understandings of history and the ambiguity of this in some legal systems

23 December 2019

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Eric Heinze, Professor of Law and Humanities at Queen Mary School of Law, has written an opinion piece in which he discusses the complexities of the role of the state in understandings of history and the ambiguity of this in some legal systems. He writes: “International law sets floors, not ceilings. To draw a simple analogy, nowhere does international law require states to plant flowers along roadways, but that hardly renders the effort either legally or pragmatically untenable. The fact that international instruments may not require state self-inculpation – for important tactical reasons – in no way suggests that self-inculpating laws, policies or practices cannot exist.”

Read the full article on Free Speech Debate.