The policy and practice of reparatory justice has been a feature of European/Caribbean jurisprudence and history for over two centuries. In the 1820’s, for example, the British Parliament debated and rejected a proposal calling for the enslaved people of the Caribbean to receive compensation for their criminal enslavement and the illegal use of their labour. Since then the issue refuses to go away; and more and more attention has been focused on the Caribbean, arguably the site where the greatest crime against humanity was perpetrated during the period of modernity. But what is reparation and what does the concept entail?
The word “reparation,” which comes from the Latin word for “repair,” is still an unfamiliar concept to many, despite the long genealogy of the reparation movement in Jamaica and globally. In its simplest definition, it means redressing a wrong which has been done, and the attempt to remove the long-term effects of the crime upon the victims and their descendants.
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