Carla Ferstman

in International Law

ISBN: 9780199796953
Published online March 2012 | | DOI:

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Reparation refers to the process and result of remedying the damage or harm caused by an unlawful act. The purpose of reparation is generally understood to reestablish the situation that existed before the harm occurred. It can also serve as a measure to end ongoing breaches and to deter future ones, as a vehicle for reconciliation or to restore relations between the violator and injured parties, as well as a basis to repair or rehabilitate physical and psychological integrity and dignity. In international law, a breach of an international obligation gives rise to a duty to repair the harm caused. The obligation to make reparation follows a determination that a particular act caused, or sufficiently contributed to, the harm or damages and implies a level of wrongfulness. However, certain international law agreements may also impose an obligation to afford reparation for losses irrespective of fault. It has been recognized that reparation must “fully” repair any injury, including any material or moral damage caused by the wrongful act. It must, so far as possible, wipe out all the consequences of the illegal act and reestablish the situation that would, in all probability, have existed if that act had not been committed. The recognized forms of reparation are variably understood as restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of nonrepetition. These forms, afforded singly or in combination, feature in the United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006. Article 34 in the International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts lists restitution, compensation, and satisfaction as the forms of reparation. Cessation and nonrepetition are dealt with separately, as independent obligations stemming from the wrongful act. Restitution relates to the reestablishment of the situation that existed before the wrongful act was committed. Compensation is for any pecuniary and nonpecuniary losses, including loss of profits and employment. Rehabilitation refers to long-term medical and psychological care and surgeries as well as legal care, whereas satisfaction refers to measures such as formal acknowledgment of the unlawful character of the breach, apologies, and prosecutions. Guarantees of nonrepetition are forward-looking remedies focusing on prevention that can refer to either measures of deterrence aimed at protecting a victim from further harm or broader measures, such as legal and institutional reform and vetting of public officials aimed at avoiding the wider conditions that allowed for the breach.

Article.  9640 words. 

Subjects: International Law ; International Courts and Tribunals ; Private International Law and Conflict of Laws ; Public International Law

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