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The Handbook of Reparations$
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Pablo de Greiff

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291922

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199291926.001.0001

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Reparations and Civil Litigation

Reparations and Civil Litigation

Compensation for Human Rights Violations in Transitional Democracies

Chapter:
(p.539) Chapter 15 Reparations and Civil Litigation
Source:
The Handbook of Reparations
Author(s):

Jaime E. Malamud‐Goti

Lucas Sebastián Grosman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199291926.003.0016

Compensation for human rights abuse can be approached from two different perspectives. The first is through principles of tort law, under which the compensation of harm for human rights abuse is no different from the compensation of other, ordinary harm. The second is based on principles of administrative compensation, where victims are defined in standardized terms in a statute that provides a relatively fixed, tabulated amount of compensation for all, which is typically smaller than judicial compensation. This paper analyzes the circumstances that justify a shift from the torts to the administrative approach to compensation, and how the two approaches should relate to each other. It addresses the issue of whether victims should have a right to choose between them in the disposition of their cases and, if so, under what conditions. Finally, it compares judicial to administrative compensation in relation to the goals a compensation program must pursue, and argues that even in those cases where administrative compensation offers the best option, it is advisable to leave room for the use of judicial compensation as well.

Keywords:   tort law, administrative compensation, human rights, reparations program, transitional states

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