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Justice and Reparations

De Greiff, Pablo
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In Pablo De Greiff, ed., The Handbook of Reparations. Oxford, New York, USA: Oxford University Press. Pp. 451-477.

“This chapter represents an effort to articulate a conception of justice in reparations for victims of human rights violations when the aim is to repair a large number of cases, as opposed to individual, isolated cases. It starts with an effort to establish some semantic clarity, as least by trying to distinguish between two differnt contexts of use of the term ‘reparations’. It discusses some of the problems with merely transplanting the ideal of compensaton in proportion to harm from its natural home in the resolution of individual judicial cases, and using it as a standard of justice for massive reparations programs. It argues instead in favor of thinking about justice in the context of massive cases in terms of the achievement of three goals, namely, recognition, civic trust, and social solidarity — three goals that, as it turns out, are intimately related to justice. Finally, without pretending that a blueprint for a program of reparations can be designed from a purely theoretical perspective, it tries to shed light on the basic trade-offs that accompany some of the choices that have to be made in the process of constructing a comprehensive and coherent reparations program.” (excerpt)


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