Reparation Through Transformation? An Examination of the ICC Reparation System in Cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes

by Franziska Brachthäuser

View/download paper


With the introduction of Article 75 to the Rome Statute, the ICC has set the goal to establish a reparation system for victims of mass atrocities. While processes of reparation for victims are only beginning to take shape at the Court, problems become particularly complex in the context of sexual and gender-based crimes. How can one adequately respond to damages that go beyond what can be repaired by mere financial compensation?  And how can individual needs be addressed in mass atrocities? The limited legal mandate, legitimacy and funding of the ICC trigger doubts on the viability of its promises.

The intersection of these two problems, a coherent reparation practice and acknowledgement of sexual violence in international crimes stand at the center of this study. It argues that the reparation system of the ICC as it stands is overburdened with the idea of full-fledged reparation. Ultimately, it  argues that the idea of reparative complementarity could offer a valuable alternative.

About the Author

Franziska Brachthäuser is currently clerking at the Appellate Court of Berlin (Rechtsreferendariat). She holds a Maîtrise en Droit from Panthéon Assas (Paris II) and an LL.M. in “International Criminal Law” (Amsterdam/Columbia University).


International Criminal Court; Reparations; Sexual Violence ; Article 75 ; Reparative Complementarity

A previous version of this paper has been published in German: Franziska Brachthäuser, Der IStGH und die Grenzen der Wiedergutmachung, KJ 51, p. 57-66.


Project & Publications Type: Rapoport Center Working Paper Series