Victim-oriented perspectives, rights and realities

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For long the plight of victims of gross violations of human rights has been ignored because of legal shortcomings, political obstacles, economic factors and the incapacity of victims themselves to assert their rights and to pursue their claims. This is a reality at the domestic scene but it is also true that international law is not victim-oriented. However, there are recent, more positive, trends in the context of the humanisation of international law. These trends are reflected in the law and practice of international tribunals and in victim-related normative prescriptions, such as in the united nations basic principles and guidelines on the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law. One of the complex issues of reparative justice is the question to what extent historical wrongs, such as serious crimes committed under colonial or authoritarian rule, continue to incur liability in legal and/or moral terms. Another complex issue is posed by the massive proportions of gross violations and serious crimes which may well require resort to collective redress and collective means of reparation. Further, the question is raised of the relationship between reparation programmes and development programmes. It is finally observed that the wrongs of the past should be squarely faced in order to prevent their repetition.keywordsvictimsreparationhuman rightstransitional justicereparative justicevictim-oriented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVictims of international crimes: an interdisciplinary discourse
EditorsTh. Bonacker, Chr. Safferling
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherAsser Press
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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