Reparations for Victims at the International Criminal Court: A New Way Forward?

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Reparations at the International Criminal Court (ICC) raise victims’ expectations that they would have an avenue of redress in the face of domestic impunity. This article examines the purpose of reparations at the ICC, which notably move away from the international law state-centric modes of liability for reparations to more private law individual liability and even developmental or subsidiary responsibility when provided by the Trust Fund for Victims. At the crux of the debate on reparations at the ICC rests the challenge between delivering justice to victims of international crimes against the limited capacity and jurisdiction of the Court. To overcome these limitations and to better realise expectations of reparations at the ICC, this article explores the promise of transformative reparations in trying to widen the benefits of reparations beyond those victims who suffer crimes by a convicted person, as well as tackling the causes of such crimes. Likewise this article will posit the role of complementarity and state responsibility in filling the gap between expectations and possibilities of reparations. In concluding it will also examine future prospects and challenges of a separate reparations chamber.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1222
JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
Issue number9
Early online date17 Aug 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 17 Aug 2017


  • reparations
  • victims
  • International Criminal Court


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