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Conference: Reparations in the Inter-American System: A Comparative Approach Conference


This publication will enhance the understanding of what we call the law of reparations, developed in the Inter-American Court and Commission of Human

Rights. Reparations have a special meaning for the victims of human rights violations and, in particular, the victims of mass and gross violations that took place in this hemisphere during the twentieth century. For those victims and their family members, reestablishing the rights as if no violation had occurred is not possible. Accordingly, to them, avoiding the repetition of those violations in the future is of paramount importance. In achieving that goal, what the victims want is the investigation and punishment of those who appear guilty as an essential component of the law of compensation. Material and moral damages, symbolic measures of redress, as well as legislative changes when needed are also crucially important.

The inter-American system’s supervisory organs, within the limits of their jurisdiction, and in particular through the interpretation of Article 63 of the American Convention, have creatively developed the law of reparations within the Americas. As a result of the decisions from the supervisory organs, what has emerged is perhaps the most comprehensive legal regime on reparations developed in the human rights field in international law. This contains edited versions of speeches delivered at the conference.