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Lecture | Supranational Criminal Law Lecture Series

SCL Lecture: “Reparations independent from the criminal justice system”

  • Pieter de Baan
  • Niamh Hayes
  • Esther Dingemans
Thursday 8 March 2018
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague

Towards an innovative justice mechanism for victims of conflict-related sexual violence

Victims of conflict-related sexual violence struggle to achieve justice in national and international courts. Often, the crimes are not recognized by authorities or not charged by the prosecutor; the perpetrators cannot be identified or apprehended; or the evidence available is not sufficient for a criminal trial. In the absence of a conviction, victims are usually unable to receive reparations. Reparations can be, however, a very effective tool of justice, especially for sexual violence survivors.

This panel explores the possibility of creating a mechanism which could award reparations to victims independent from the formal justice system. There is a growing interest in an international body with lower evidentiary thresholds, the involvement of survivors and NGOs in the processes and the flexibility to respond to the particular needs of sexual violence survivors which would make justice more accessible. Such an international reparations commission would be able to provide the acknowledgement to victims that they have been wronged, and at the same time offer practical support to rebuild their lives, for example through financial compensation for individuals or collective reparations to heal communities.


  • Pieter de Baan, Executive Director of the ICC Trust Fund for Victims
  • Niamh Hayes, Expert on justice for conflict-related sexual violence crimes
  • Esther Dingemans, Director of the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation

    The panel will be moderated by Dr. Joseph Powderly, Assistant Professor of Public International Law, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies.

    The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.

SCL Lectures are public and free of charge, but places are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration via events@mukwegefoundation.org is therefore mandatory.

The views and opinions expressed in or during the Supranational Criminal Law Lectures are not necessarily those of the host and/or participating organisations, namely the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University.

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