- Human rights — Reparations — Truth and Reconciliation Commissions
Principle 31 deals with rights and duties arising out of the obligation to make reparation. It reflects a significant trend in recent international affairs: the call for ‘reparations’ as a means of ‘correcting’ legacies of serious and widespread human rights abuses. The idea of a general individual right as codified in Principle 31 is consistent with existing international law, but arguably has no strong legal basis. The Principle opens with a strong normative claim: ‘Any human rights violation gives rise to a right to reparation’. This claim is far from self-explanatory and raises a variety of questions about its meaning and foundations, such as the question of what it is to have a right to reparation. After providing a contextual and historical background on Principle 31, this chapter discusses its theoretical framework and highlights some of the legal, and predominantly international practices relevant to the Principle.
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