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Reparations: Lessons from the Past, Challenges for the Future

11 May, 2023 @ 17:00 18:30

On 11 May, this multidisciplinary event on reparations will bring together practitioners, scholars, and students, in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Statute (1998), which led to the creation of the International Criminal Court and the Trust Fund for Victims.

Participants will be invited to reflect about how reparations have changed in the course of the twentieth and twenty-first century, and how they will continue to be shaped by diplomatic, legal and academic consideration, State and individual responsibility, and victim agency. 

Reparations

Today, we almost take it as a given that survivors of severe forms of violence deserve some kind of reparation. The imperative to repair is an important principle in international law – one sanctioned by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/147 calling for “adequate, effective and prompt reparation” in the wake of mass atrocities.

But the understanding that victims of mass human rights abuses deserve some form of reparation is a relatively recent one. And it underwent crucial shifts in the course of the twentieth century. But how do reparation programmes come to be? How can one assess their reparative value? To what extent can a historical perspective be of help when trying to gauge the present and future viability of reparative justice?

Roundtable and debate

Distinguished professor Beatrice de Graaf (History and Global Governance) will chair a roundtable discussion with: Lorena De Vita (History of International Relations), Thijs Bouwknegt (NIOD, Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies), Julie Fraser (Netherlands Institute of Human Rights), Fabián Salvioli (UN Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice and Reparation), and Henk-Cor van der Kwast (Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the International Criminal Court).

Pieter de Baan from the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims will lead a public debate and provide closing remarks, followed by a short reception.

The event will be hosted at Aula, University Hall, Utrecht.

The event is co-organised by the Trust Fund for Victims/International Criminal Court and Lorena De Vita’s Alfred Landecker Foundation research project Holocaust Diplomacy: the Global Politics of Memory and Forgetting.