Current Projects on Race and Global Political Economy

> Symposium, “Reparations under International Law for Transatlantic Chattel Slavery”

In 2021, CGEJ Director Chantal Thomas, with Natalie Reid of Debevoise & Plimpton, co-chaired the organization of a Symposium on Reparations under International Law for Enslavement of African Persons in the Americas and the Caribbean, co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and The University of the West Indies (UWI). The Symposium, held on May 20-21, 2021, brought together leading experts from around the world to discuss issues of legality and remedies as related both to transatlantic chattel slavery and to its legacies of systemic racism and discrimination. Convened by Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice during his term as ASIL Honorary President, and featuring opening remarks by Sir Hilary Beckles, UWI Vice-Chancellor, the experts discussed critical questions related to reparations for the descendants of Africans who were enslaved in the Americas and the Caribbean, including:

  • What was the historical and social context for the business of transatlantic chattel slavery?
  • Was chattel slavery permitted, or prohibited, by the international law of the time?
  • How can the economic basis for reparations be assessed?
  • What are the possible remedies now for enslavement and its legacy? 

The Symposium Proceedings are available for viewing (click here to view Day 1; click here to view Day 2). The publication of the Proceedings, facilitated by CGEJ, is forthcoming.