Needs or rights ? : exploring the limitations of individual reparations for violations of international humanitarian law
Emily L. Camins
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International journal of transitional justice, Vol. 10, issue 1, March 2016, p. 126-145
International humanitarian law (IHL) is increasingly being invoked as a potential legal vehicle for individual claims to reparations, including compensation, postconflict. In this article, Emily Camins explores the limitations of such an approach. In particular, she examines the distinctly pragmatic nature of IHL, which takes as its starting premise the existence of armed conflict and from this point seeks to attenuate the effects of conflict and address the suffering and needs of those caught up in it. Drawing largely on the work of Jean Pictet, she considers how a rights-based approach – which is founded primarily on legal constructs rather than the broader needs of victims of conflict – fits with the conceptual framework of IHL. This exploration feeds into discussions on the role of rights in the context of transitional justice.
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