Defining Beneficiaries of Collective Reparations: The experience of the IACtHR

Diana Contreras-Garduño


Under international law, it is uncontested that the victims of gross and systematic human rights violations have the right to reparation. International tribunals have granted collective reparations as the most appropriate kind of reparation for these violations. This has been re-affirmed by the recent decision on reparations of the International Criminal Court in the Lubanga case. Since gross and systematic human rights violations involve large numbers of victims, collective reparations seem to be appropriate as they seek to provide redress to groups and communities. Yet, while there is a trend of international tribunals adjudicating gross human rights violations resorting to collective reparations, these reparations face numerous ambiguities such as the lack of a single definition and clear guidelines for the identification of their beneficiaries. This article examines the experience of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, pioneer of collective reparations, in the identification of beneficiaries of gross and systematic human rights violations.


collective reparations; human rights violations; International Criminal Court, beneficiaries; Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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Copyright (c) 2012 Diana Contreras-Garduño

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