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Rule-of-law Tools for Post-conflict States

Reparations Programmes

image of Rule-of-law Tools for Post-conflict States
In response to the myriad violations and abuses of fundamental rights that take place particularly during conflicts and under authoritarian regimes, a variety of measures have been developed. This publication has reviewed some of the relevant international law instruments on reparations, and has raised some of the most difficult challenges that reparations programmes have faced in different parts off the world. It is a practical tool to provide guidance on implementing reparations initiatives and focuses on how to establish (out-of-court) fair and effective reparations programmes in close association with other justice initiatives and with the participation of various stakeholders to help redress cases of gross and serious violations of human rights in the wake of conflict or authoritarian rule.

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The context of reparations

The very broad understanding of “reparations” that underlies the five categories in the Basic Principles and Guidelines—an understanding that is closely tied to the more general category of “legal remedies”—is perfectly consistent with the recent trend to look for complementarity among justice measures. There are binding obligations to provide these five kinds of measures. However, the five categories go well beyond the mandate of any reparations programme to date: no reparations programme has been thought to be responsible for “distributing” the set of “benefits” grouped under the categories of satisfaction and, especially, of guarantees of non-repetition in the Basic Principles and Guidelines. Indeed, it can be argued that the five categories in the Basic Principles and Guidelines overlap with the sort of holistic transitional justice policy that the Secretary-General recommends in his report on the rule of law and transitional justice.

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