2 Abtract Under humanitarian law and a series of international conventions, all gross human rights violations are argued to require legal remedy. However, in situations of epidemic violence legal remedies may require extension through a policy of reparations. There are conceptual confusions that often impair the proper formulation of a reparations policy. This paper examines these problems in the context of Zimbabwe. Reparations can be conceived as being composed of three major elements: justice, compensation and rehabilitation. All three elements are necessary to the overall definition, and address different components of the problems created by gross human rights violations. All are necessary both on the individual and the societal scale. Examples abound of countries where reparations are implemented without all three elements being present. Zimbabwe provides a good case example here. In Zimbabwe, justice has been avoided through the promulgation of successive statutes of impunity. The long term consequence here is increasing executive unaccountability and massive government corruption. It also perpetuates the practice of torture, as the recent case of the torture of two Zimbabwean journalists illustrates. Compensation has implemented in a partial fashion, but provides little value to victims through its limited scope, its avoidance of punitive damages, and, above all, its emasculation through impunity. Rehabilitation is not offered in any explicit form, least of all as a component of a compensation scheme. It is concluded that reparations policies that exclude justice as the central component cannot provide any redress for gross human rights violations or lead to situations of long-standing peace. As Richard Goldstone says, “justice does not depend on peace, rather that peace depends on justice”.

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