Symposium on Reparation for “Crimes of the Past” in Strasbourg (Oct. 19–20)


Written by Dr. Delphine Porcheron, Associate Professor at the University of Strasbourg Law Faculty

On October 19 and 20, the University of Strasbourg is organizing a symposium on Reparation for “Crimes of the Past”.

Mass crimes, deportations, spoliations, colonial exploitation, slavery… The “crimes of the past” are first known to us as historical facts. Their protagonists have mostly disappeared; they have been documented by historians; almost all of them are mentioned in school textbooks. They have become part of our collective memory as disastrous episodes of a bygone past.

And yet, decades later, claims for reparation are initiated. Individuals and groups who have been materially, socially or psychologically affected by these events are turning to justice. They expect not just symbolic recognition, but genuine reparation for their losses, compensation for their suffering, and restoration of their social status.

But are State courts capable of responding appropriately to these claims? Are the law and litigation practice capable of delivering justice? What other institutional mechanisms can be implemented to this end?

These are the questions that the speakers at this symposium will attempt to answer, combining legal, historical and philosophical approaches by looking successively at “Jurisdictional avenues of reparation” and “Alternative avenues of reparation”.

The list of speakers and chairpersons includes: Magali Bessone, Jean-Sébastien Borghetti, Nicolas Chifflot, Marc Del Grande, Peggy Ducoulombier, Gabriel Eckert, Michel Erpelding, Etienne Farnoux, Samuel Fulli-Lemaire, Antoine Garapon, Bénédicte Girard, Patrick Kinsch, Marc Mignot, Horatia Muir-Watt, Etienne Muller, Dorothée Perrouin-Verbe,, Delphine Porcheron, Thibault de Ravel d’Esclapon, Mathieu Soula, Jeanne-Marie Tufféry-Andrieu, Patrick Wachsmann

For registration and more information, see here.