The current lawsuits will be brought before the United Nations International Court of Justice in the Netherlands. While the amount of requested reparations has not been announced, Caricom intends to right a historical wrong, “the awful legacy of these crimes against humanity – a legacy which exists today . . . ought to be repaired for the developmental benefit of our Caribbean societies and all our peoples.” The three countries listed as defendants are historically responsible for the slave trade in certain parts of the Caribbean; the United Kingdom for slavery in the English-speaking countries, France for slavery in Haiti, and the Netherlands for Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the edge of South America.
The first step in international disputes of this kind is to seek a negotiated settlement with the defending governments. Jamaica, Antigua, and Barbuda have already created national commissions on reparations, while the remaining countries in Caricom have agreed to follow suit. All 14 counties have voted unanimously to advance this agenda despite an intensely long legal battle ahead.
Should there be a statute of limitations in regards to international law and the payment of reparations?
Do you think Caricom has the right to bring this case before the United Nations International Court of Justice? Is this the start of a united Caribbean front similar to the EU?
Why was America not listed as a defendant in this round of litigation?