Reparations for Belgian colonialism: does Belgium bear a legal responsibility to make up for its colonial rule?

Over the last few months, the debate on how Belgium should deal with its colonial past has intensified and led to concrete actions, such as the expression of regrets by the Belgian King and the establishment of a parliamentary “Congo Commission”. This has raised questions on whether reparations for Belgian colonialism, such as monetary compensation, are appropriate. Is Belgium legally obliged under international law to make reparations for its colonial past? In this blogpost, Kato Van der Speeten discusses the possible State responsibility for Belgian colonial rule and uncovers the main hurdles to reparations. Continue reading “Reparations for Belgian colonialism: does Belgium bear a legal responsibility to make up for its colonial rule?”