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KFG Workshop: “Decline or Transformation? Norm Change and Values in International Law”

On 24 and 25 November 2017, Heike Krieger and Andrea Liese will be hosting the KFGs first Workshop. Convening renown scholars from international law and political science, the Workshop will scrutinize from an interdisciplinary perspective how international norms and their underlying values are changing.

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Public Event: Thomas Franck Lecture by Angelika Nußberger

“From high hopes to disillusionment? Human rights protection in Europe in an ever more hostile environment”, 30 November 2017, 6.15 pm, room 213, Unter den Linden 9

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Public Event: Thomas Franck Lecture by Andrea Bianchi

“'The Unbearable Lightness of International Law'”, 4 December 2017, 6.15 pm, room 213, Unter den Linden 9

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Contact us:
Berlin Potsdam Research Group
International Law - Rise or Decline?
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 2093-3322
e-Mail: info(at)kfg-intlaw.de
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Working Papers

KFG Working Paper Series No. 4

Colonial Injustices and the Law of State Responsibility: The CARICOM Claim for Reparations

Andreas Buser - Download PDF PDF


Caribbean States organised in CARICOM recently brought forward reparation claims against several European States to compensate slavery and (native) genocides in the Caribbean and even threatened to approach the International Court of Justice. The paper provides for an analysis of the facts behind the CARICOM claim and asks whether the law of state responsibility is able to provide for the demanded compensation. As the intertemporal principle generally prohibits retroactive application of today's international rules, the paper argues that the complete claim must be based on the law of state responsibility governing in the time of the respective conduct. An inquiry into the history of primary (prohibition of slavery and genocide) as well as secondary rules of State responsibility reveals that both sets of rules were underdeveloped or non-existent at the times of slavery and alleged (native) genocides. Therefore, the author concludes that the CARICOM claim is legally flawed but nevertheless worth the attention as it once again exposes imperial and colonial injustices of the past and their legitimization by historical international law and international/natural lawyers.

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