Since the end of World War II, claims for reparations for historical injustices (including the Holocaust, the oppression of indigenous peoples in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, as well as the enduring legacy of slavery and institutional racism among African Americans) have become a central element of national politics and international diplomacy.
Investigating the Relevance of International Law
This project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), investigated the relevance of international law in relation to such demands for reparation.
While the topic of reparation has increasingly become the focus of scholarly interest, a holistic approach to this issue, combining theoretical notions of international law with considerations of practicality and morality, is still largely missing in the literature. This project intended to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive assessment of victims’ reparations claims in light of recent developments in international law. At the same time, it paid special attention to the legal and moral dilemmas that may arise in the process of shaping and implementing reparations programmes – especially in situations of transition from civil war and dictatorship towards peace and democracy.
This research project was carried out by Frank Haldemann and Rachelle Kouassi.