Reparations for victims of crimes under international law: reality and perspectives : the "genocide case" 2007

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Tampakopoulou, Akrivi
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Throughout the recent years, one could observe a series of efforts taking place worldwide in order to tackle international criminality, to fight against the traditional impunity which dominated in international law until the mid 20th century and to punish perpetrators of human rights atrocities, whether these were committed by individuals or official State organs. To the reinforcement of these developments, many measures of judicial and nonjudicial character have been adopted, primarily under the auspices of the international community but also at the level of States. In this context, the issue of the victims of human rights violations in peace or in wartime has been unreasonably neglected. Victims have always been silent participants, if not outsiders, in trials and rarely have they enjoyed some sort of relief for the pain and suffering they have experienced. There is an acute need to create and to promote well designed and functioning programs for the active involvement of victims in the struggle against crime and to attribute to the victims effective remedies for whichever kind of damage they have suffered. Most of the reparations provisions that currently exist, lack practical implementation by both domestic and international authorized bodies. Furthermore, no country has managed to successfully implement victim-oriented policies and reparations programs. Despite all failures and shortcomings, pessimism should not be an obstacle for future initiatives and the issue of reparative justice for victims should be further promoted at the national and international level. One should not forget that victims are human beings whose past has been destructive enough as to be irreparable but they do have a right to hope for a better future and thus, all feasible support in the form of reparation should be provided to them in order to continue their livelihoods in the most normal way possible.
Second semester Universtity: University of Padua.
genocide, International Criminal Court, international criminal law, reparations, victims