Reparation for Victims of Crimes against Humanity

The healing role of reparation

by Jo-Anne M. Wemmers

Series: Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice

Each year, countless people fall victim to crimes against humanity. These include widespread occurrences of systematic murder, torture, rape, disappearances, forced deportation and political persecution. Crimes against humanity constitute an attack on human dignity and as such they violate the human rights of the victim, as well as the laws of humanity.

In recent years, following the creation of the International Criminal Court, there has been a growing interest in the prosecution of offenders and, in particular, in reparation following crimes against humanity. While such measures are meant to provide justice for victims, victims are often forgotten or lost in legal debates about what constitutes reparation and who is eligible to receive it.

This book reaches beyond the boundaries of law and psychology and takes a multidisciplinary approach to the question of reparation for victims of crimes against humanity. Law does not take place in a vacuum and it is important to consider the impact of the law on the psychology of the victim, as well as the legal principles themselves. Herein lies the originality of this book, which bridges the gaps between psychology, victimology, criminology and law and will be of key interest to academics and students engaged in the study of these areas.



In The Press

‘This book will become a classic in the field of reparation for victims of mass violence. The various chapters provide state of the art scholarship in an area which is of paramount importance in victimology. The editor and the authors deserve immense credit for addressing one of the most topical issues in victimology in this impressive way. The book is a "must-read" for any researcher who takes the problem of reparation seriously.’ - Dr. Marc Groenhuijsen, President, World Society of Victimology

‘International justice is nowhere more urgent in its promise, and harmful in its failure, than when it touches the rights and expectations of real victims in their actual lives. Jo-Anne Wemmers has brought together a distinguished group of contributors to explore the potential for, and the risks inherent in attempting to repair the harm done by crimes against humanity. Delving into examples from around the world, the authors draw on a range of disciplines in order to elucidate a victim-centred and healing approach that challenges our way of seeking justice for these gravest of crimes.’ - Bruce Broomhall, Professor, Department of Law, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada

'Reparation for Victims of Crimes against Humanity is a valuable text for its multidisciplinary perspective, which goes beyond the legal and victimological discourses, to truly examine expectations, perceptions and harsh realities of trying the impossible — of remedying mass atrocities. The rich debate in this book will be instructive to many judges, diplomats, practitioners, academics and students as they try to navigate through the difficult issues raised through this book of using reparations in delivering justice to victims...' —Luke Moffett, Queen’s University Belfast, Journal of International Criminal Justice

'This book represents an important and welcome contribution in theorizing and working out the practical modalities of delivering reparations for crimes against humanity. The rich debate in this book will be instructive to many judges, diplomats, practitioners, academics and students as they try to navigate through the difficult issues raised through this book of using reparations in delivering justice to victims, whether through the ICC, state programmes or a future crimes against humanity convention.'


About The Author

Jo-Anne M. Wemmers (PhD) is a Professor at the School of Criminology of the University of Montreal as well as head of the research group Victims, Rights and Society at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology. She has published widely in the areas of victimology, international criminal law and reparative justice. Her books include Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Victim Participation in Justice: International Perspectives (Carolina Academic Press 2011), Introduction à la victimologie (Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal 2003), Caring for Victims of Crime (Criminal Justice Press 1999) and Victims in the Criminal Justice System (Kugler 1996). Former Secretary General of the World Society of Victimology, she is currently Editor-in-Chief of the French-language journal Criminologie, as well as Editor of the International Review of Victimology.