CHAPTER FOUR
Reparatory Justice

In contemporary times, most transitional regimes--whether following war, military dictatorships, or communism--have undertaken some form of reparatory justice. The review of reparatory practices pursued here suggests this response is widely prevalent, despite divergent legal cultures. How do societies think about such efforts at reparation? What is their purpose and function? What is the meaning of transitional justice for victims of past regime wrongs and for the society?

The threshold dilemma confronted by successor regimes in transitional periods is whether new regimes are obligated to redress victims of state wrongs. Under international law, wherever states have violated duties, there is a clear legal obligation to repair. 1 Nevertheless, in national debates over what to do about past evil legacies, the question of reparatory justice is a more complicated problem generally inherited by the successor regime, raising conflicts between the backward-looking purposes of compensating victims of past state abuses and the state's forward-looking political interests. Reparatory practices raise the prospective/retrospective, individual/collective dilemmas characterizing transitional periods. Yet whether in ordinary or transitional periods, reparatory justice is always in some sense backward-looking, as it implies rectification of past wrong. Transitional reparatory justice, as is elaborated further on in this chapter, reconciles the apparent dilemma in the extraordinary context of balancing corrective aims with the forward-looking goals of the transformation. Similarly, transitional reparatory justice mediates individual and collective liability, shaping the political identity of the liberalizing state.

The vocabulary of "reparatory justice" illustrates its multiple dimensions, comprehending numerous diverse forms: reparations, damages, remedies, redress, restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, tribute. Precedents going back to ancient times illuminate transitional reparatory justice's complex role. Transitional reparatory measures mediate repair of victims and communities, past

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Transitional Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One - the Rule of Law in Transition 11
  • Chapter Two - Criminal Justice 27
  • Chapter Three - Historical Justice 69
  • Chapter Four - Reparatory Justice 119
  • Chapter Five - Administrative Justice 149
  • Chapter Six - Constitutional Justice 191
  • Chapter Seven - Toward a Theory of Transitional Justice 213
  • Epilogue 229
  • Notes 231
  • Index 285
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