Reparations for the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Historical Enslavement: Linking past atrocities with contemporary victim populations

Luke Moffett, Katarina Schwarz

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Abstract

The debate around reparations for the transatlantic slave trade has been discussed for centuries with no end in sight. This article does not intend to cover the historical or political aspects of this debate, but instead to shed more light on the legal options with regards to reparations. In particular this article examines the role of politically negotiated reparations in transitional societies and the limits of avenues of redress in international law. Key to such discussions is the identification of eligible victims and appropriate measures of redress from responsible actors. With the so-called ‘transatlantic slave trade’ the passage of time has strained legal principles of causation to identify those victimised by atrocities of the past. Instead this article argues that reparations beyond the international law construct can be politically negotiated to at least acknowledge the past and offer some symbolic measures of redress to victimised populations of transatlantic enslavement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNetherlands Quarterly of Human Rights
Early online date30 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Sep 2018

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