The Complexities of Land Reparations
Gregory S. Alexander
Cornell Law School
November 5, 2012
Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-63
The question whether unjust dispossessions of land perpetrated on whole peoples in the past should be corrected by restitution in kind, that is, granting reparations in the form of returning land to the dispossessed former owners or their present-day successors is substantially more complex than the questions posed by other forms of reparations. I argue that the complexities involved in all of the situations where claims for land reparations are made to correct historic injustices give us good reasons to be hesitant about granting such claims. At the same time, we should not dismiss such claims out of hand. Reparations which take a form other than restitution of dispossessed land may be both necessary and sufficient to establish a public marker of acknowledgment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Property, land, reparations, possession, justiceworking papers series
Date posted: November 6, 2012
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