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Should historical injustices be corrected?

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Historical injustice corrected?

An EU-funded project has examined how governments should deal with property rights disputes and/or claims for material compensation following past wrongs.

Society

Historical injustices constitute past wrongs in which both the wrongdoers and the victims have since passed away. Questions of whether the descendants of the victims are entitled to compensation, what kind and who should bear the cost come into play. These are difficult questions with politically sensitive associations. Yet, they are at the same time practical questions that have arisen in courts across Australia, Europe and the United States. Although it is a very important topic, not much research was available thus far. The project HISTORICALINJUSTICES (Should historical injustices be corrected?) therefore examined historical injustices in two main parts. One was through a full-length book of analytical political theory. This included the recent European human rights court decision of a case concerning Greek Cypriots. The other involved scholars from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), both in the United States. The aim was to examine some of the arguments, counterarguments and potential solutions in the Israeli context. The findings were disseminated in books from various academic publication houses as well as in peer-reviewed academic journals and academic edited volumes. Project outcomes were useful in creating a new body of knowledge for how governments can deal with these disputes. The research brought about a real contribution to the academic field of past wrongs and intergenerational reparations, and more broadly intergenerational property rights.

Keywords

Historical injustice, property rights disputes, material compensation, past wrongs, human rights

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