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9 Reparations

From: The American Convention on Human Rights: Essential Rights

Thomas M. Antkowiak, Alejandra Gonza

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 September 2020

Subject(s):
Human rights remedies — Recognition and enforcement — Compensation — Damages — Reparations — Restitution — International courts and tribunals, powers — Interim and provisional measures — Costs and expenses — Moral damages

The Court’s extensive reparations are hailed as trailblazing. Interpreting the Convention’s Article 63, the Tribunal’s remedial approach comprises measures of restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition, in conjunction with pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. The Court is the only international body with binding jurisdiction that has consistently ordered this full range of reparations. Especially noteworthy is the Tribunal’s focus upon non-monetary remedies. Of course, the Court’s reparations are not without their flaws. As for non-monetary remedies, the Court at times could require more intensive victim engagement in the design and implementation of reparations. Yet, above all, the Tribunal’s inconsistent monetary reparations invite scrutiny. Particularly in the judgments involving groups, such as indigenous communities, the Court does not always respond to substantiated claims for monetary damages by both individuals and collectivities. If it neglects well-founded requests for material or moral compensation, the Court will compromise both individual and collective rights.

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