The right to a remedy and to reparation for gross human rights violations – Practitioners Guide no. 2
This Guide outlines the international legal principles governing the right to a remedy and reparation for victims of gross human rights violations by compiling international jurisprudence on the issues of reparations.
The Guide is aimed at practitioners who may find it useful to have international sources at hand for their legal, advocacy, social or other work.
It first recalls the state’s general duty to respect, protect, ensure and promote human rights, particularly the general duty of the state and the general consequences flowing from gross human rights violations (Chapter I).
It then defines who is entitled to reparation: victims are, of course, the first beneficiaries of reparations, but other persons also have a right to reparation under certain circumstances (Chapter II).
The Guide goes on to address the right to an effective remedy, the right to a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation and the right to truth (Chapters III-V).
It then addresses the consequences of gross human rights violations, i.e. the duty of the state to cease the violation if it is ongoing and to guarantee that no further violations will be committed (Chapter VI). It continues by describing the different aspects of the right to reparation, i.e. the right to restitution, compensation, rehabilitation and satisfaction (Chapter VII).
While the duty to prosecute and punish perpetrators of human rights violations is not necessarily part of the reparation as such, it is so closely linked to the victim’s right to redress and justice that it must be addressed in this Guide (Chapter VIII).
Frequent factors of impunity, such as trials in military tribunals, amnesties or comparable measures and statutes of limitations for crimes under international law are also discussed (Chapter IX).
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