Unearthing the Legitimacy of CARICOM's Reparations Bid by Antonius R. Hippolyte University of Hull March 2014

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Unearthing the Legitimacy of CARICOM's Reparations Bid by Antonius R. Hippolyte University of Hull March 2014

Unearthing the Legitimacy of CARICOM's Reparations Bid by Antonius R. Hippolyte University of Hull March 2014

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  • 1. Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2416790   1  UNEARTHING THE LEGITIMACY OF CARICOM’S REPARATIONS BID Antonius R. Hippolyte* DRAFT Comments Welcomed! I. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1  II. THE DARKSIDES OF EUROPEAN COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN ................................ 2  A. A HISTORY OF THE GENOCIDE OF THE CARIBBEAN’S NATIVE PEOPLES .................................... 2  B. THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE AND CARIBBEAN SLAVERY ...................................................... 4  III. THE IMPACT OF NATIVE GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY ON THE CARIBBEAN REGION TODAY .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 6  IV. CARICOM: THE MAIN PROTAGONIST IN THE REPARATIONS BID .......................................... 10  A. WHAT IS CARICOM? ..................................................................................................................................................................... 10  B. INSTITUTIONAL MAKEUP OF CARICOM .................................................................................................................. 12  V. LOOKING INTO CARICOM’S REPARATIONS CLAIM ............................................................................. 14  VI. REPARATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL WRONGS: THE CASE OF NATIVE GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY IN THE CARIBBEAN ...................................................................................................................... 18  A. THE EUROPEAN POSITION ................................................................................................................................................... 18  B. A LEGAL CASE FOR REPARATIONS ................................................................................................................................ 20  VII. CONCLUDING REMARKS ..................................................................................................................................... 26  I. INTRODUCTION Fourteen Caribbean countries,1 coalescing under the CARICOM banner, are preparing to bring a class action suit for reparations for native genocide and slavery against the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).2 CARICOM, an international organization, with a common market at its core, at its 34th regular meeting of the Heads of Government created the CARICOM Reparations Committee,3 presided over by the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, with Barbados, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago providing political oversight.4 This claim arises from the reparation desires of Member States for the legacies of native genocide and slavery, in which almost an entire population of the regions natives peoples was wiped out by these European settlers and whereby millions of slaves were                                                          * A.A. (H. Lavity Stoutt Community College) British Virgin Islands, LL.B. (Hull), LL.M. (Hull), Ph.D. Candidate (Hull), Law School, University of Hull, United Kingdom. All errors and views expressed within are the Author’s own. 1 Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. 2 The Voice: UK Government Blocks Caribbean Reparations Bid [Internet] Available from: < http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/uk-government-blocks-caribbean-reparations-bid> Accessed on Friday October 18th 2013. 3 North American Congress on Latin America: CARICOM Moves Forward with the Reparations Committee. [Internet] Available from: <http://nacla.org/blog/2013/8/8/CARICOM-moves-forward-reparations- committee>Accessed on Friday October 18th, 2013 4 Caribbean Community Secretariat, Heads agree on reparations follow up action. [Internet] Accessed from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/pressreleases/press_releases_2013/pres147_13.jsp> Accessed on Friday October 18th 2013.
  • 2. Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2416790   2  transported from Africa to work on plantations in the West Indies for the economic benefit of these Europeans. These dark sides of the European colonization of the West Indies may be classified as crimes against humanity, and international law provides from reparations for such atrocities, given the myriad historical examples of such reparations.5 However, in the 1830s when Britain ended slavery, the enslaved people freed, received nothing from the government in compensation for generations of forced labor, though there was money for slave-owners.6 These vile crimes continue to have lingering effects in the Caribbean today. CARICOM Heads- of-States are unanimous in their opinion that these two tragedies have contributed significantly to underdevelopment of the region. As such it is hoped that reparations will begin to right the wrongs of the past, namely some measure of economic compensation to supplement the economies of these countries and acknowledgement by these countries of the legacies of slavery. The general view is that reparations are valuable and there needs to be some European recognition of the legacies of slavery. As such, this article provides, first, a brief history of native genocide and slavery in the West Indies, otherwise referred to in this article as the dark-sides of European colonization of the West Indies. Second, it will consider evidence of the impact of slavery and native genocide on Caribbean countries today, which has prompted the reparations desires of these countries. Third, it continues by considering CARICOM’s organizational structure, in an effort to set out its ability as an international organization (IO) to raise issues on behalf of its Member States. Fourth, it focuses on the history of the reparations bid and the creation of the National Reparations Committee, leading up to the actual reparations claim. Fifth, this article will delve into the issue of reparations in international law. The legal validity of CARICOM’s reparations claim will be analyzed, considering its strengths and weaknesses in an effort to provide some preliminary insight into the success of this reparations bid in international law. It concludes on the basis that that CARICOM’s claims are valid, as native genocide and slavery were both crimes against humanity, based on international jurisprudence,7 and reparations should be made to CARICOM on behalf of the regions peoples consistently with the myriad examples of reparations that have been made in international law for crimes against humanity. II. THE DARKSIDES OF EUROPEAN COLONIZATION OF THE CARIBBEAN   A. A HISTORY OF THE GENOCIDE OF THE CARIBBEAN’S NATIVE PEOPLES  Notwithstanding the dominance of black people of African ancestry as the Caribbean’s largest ethnic group today; as will soon be revealed, they are not indigenous to the Caribbean region. However, prior to CARICOM’s reparations bid,                                                          5 Daily News: Sri Lanka National Newspaper. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.dailynews.lk/features/make-reparations-slavery-africa> Accessed on December 20, 2013. 6 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 159 7 See the definition of genocide in the Charter establishing the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. 
  • 3. Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2416790   3  little attention was actually paid to the genocide of region’s native peoples or Amerindians as they are commonly referred to today. The regions native peoples, Arawaks (Tainos) and Caribs (Kalinagos) originated from South America along the banks of the Orinoco River in modern day Venezuela.8 About 500 BC these peoples set out in their canoes from the mouth of the Orinoco towards the islands of the Caribbean.9 Over a period of just over a thousand years, being constantly pursued by the warlike Kalinagos,10 the peaceful Tainos came to settle in the Greater Antilles11 while the their pursuers settled the smaller islands of the Lesser Antilles. By the time Christopher Columbus landed on the small Bahamian island of San Salvador in 1492, these peoples had successfully settled the Caribbean, and met a thriving community of Tainos on Hispaniola. In 1493 Columbus returned with an invasion force of seventeen ships, appointed at his own request by the Spanish Crown to install himself as "viceroy and governor of [the Caribbean islands] and the mainland" of America, a position he held until 1500.12 Setting up shop on the large island he called Española (today Haiti and the Dominican Republic), he promptly instituted policies of slavery (encomiendo) and systematic extermination against the native Taino population. Columbus's programs reduced Taino numbers from as many as eight million at the outset of his regime to about three million in 1496.13 Perhaps 100,000 were left by the time of the governor's departure. His policies, however, remained, with the result that by 1514 the Spanish census of the island showed barely 22,000 Indians remaining alive. In 1542, only two hundred were recorded. Thereafter, they were considered extinct, as were Indians throughout the Caribbean Basin, an aggregate population that totaled more than fifteen million at the point of first contact with Columbus.14 This was by no means the end of it. The genocidal model for conquest and colonization established by Columbus was to a large extent replicated by others such as Cortez (in Mexico) or Pizarro (in Peru) during the following half-century. In the latter sphere the Spanish example was followed and in certain ways intensified by other Europeans, notably the British. The British’s brutal practices of annihilation of native people can be seen in the United States, beginning at Roanoake in 1607 and Plymouth in 1620. Overall the process of English colonization along the Atlantic Coast was marked by a series of massacres of native people as relentless and devastating as any perpetrated by the Spaniards. One of the best-known illustrations drawn from among hundreds was the slaughter of some 800 Pequots at present-day Mystic, Connecticut, on the night of May 26, 1637.15 Thus, in the West Indies the same fate met even the warlike Kalinagos in the Lesser Antilles, by the later arriving Dutch English and French. Similarly to the Spanish, the native population of the Lesser Antilles was enslaved to work on tobacco plantations. Those who were not killed by the hard work, which                                                          8 Honeychurch L. (2006) The Caribbean People. (3rd Edition) London: Nelson Thornes Publishers, p. 78 9 Honeychurch L. (2006) The Caribbean People. (3rd Edition) London: Nelson Thornes Publishers, p. 78 10 Descendants of the Kalinago (Carib) tribe can be found in Dominica today. 11 Honeychurch L. (2006) The Caribbean People. (3rd Edition) London: Nelson Thornes Publishers, p. 79 12 Ward Churchill, “Columbus and the Beginning of Genocide in the “New World””. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html >Accessed on November 29th, 2013 13 Ward Churchill, “Columbus and the Beginning of Genocide in the “New World””. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html >Accessed on November 29th, 2013 14 Ward Churchill, “Columbus and the Beginning of Genocide in the “New World””. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html >Accessed on November 29th, 2013 15 Ward Churchill, “Columbus and the Beginning of Genocide in the “New World””. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html >Accessed on November 29th, 2013
  • 4.   4  they were, not use to, were killed by the diseases brought by the Europeans. As soon as plantation labor proved too strenuous to the islands’ indigenous peoples who were not use to working under such harsh conditions, Europeans looked towards African slave labor. B. THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE AND CARIBBEAN SLAVERY Trading in slaves has been a feature of both antiquity and the Middle Ages, and had formed an important part of the Scandinavian economy between the 8th and the 11th centuries.16 But all this was small in comparison with the massive exportation of human merchandise that took place between the late 16th and early 19th centuries.17 Modern slavery was in many ways a new beginning and quite unlike its ancient and medieval predecessors. The European pioneers of the trade in African slaves were the nationals of the small State of Portugal.18 It began on the morning of 8th August 1444, when the first cargo of 235 Africans, taken from what is now Senegal, was put ashore at the Portuguese port of Lagos.19 The trade in black gold had begun. Modern slavery represented the creation of a new form of empire building. It was developed to supply the manpower for a particular socio-economic unit- the sugar plantation.20 Following the demand for labor in the mines of Spanish America, the Portuguese in 1510, began the sale of African slaves there and for three quarters of a century enjoyed the dominance of the African coasts and of the slave trade.21 Nonetheless, Portugal was unable to defend its vast claims in Africa indefinitely, hence its monopoly was increasingly challenged, first by the Dutch and then by the English, the French and then other Europeans. To understand the magnitude of the forced movement of Africans to Caribbean plantations between the 16th and the 19th centuries, it is important to understand the importance of the sugar plantations to Europe. Before Columbus stumbled on the Americas in 1492, few Europeans had ever tasted sugar. The limited supply came all the way from India, and its cost was so high that even a wealthy London merchant could only consume, on average, one spoonful per year.22 Spain’s discovery of the islands of the Caribbean changed all that. Conditions there proved perfect for the cultivation of sugar cane, and by the early 17th century the Spaniards and the British, Danes and Dutch were all busily cultivating cane plantations from Trinidad                                                          16 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 111 17 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 111 18 Umozurike U. O (1979) International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 1 19 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 108 20 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 109 21 Umozurike U. O (1979) International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 2 22 Smithsonian: Antigua’s Disputed Slave Conspiracy of 1736. [Internet] Available from:< http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2013/01/antiguas-disputed-slave-conspiracy-of-1736/> Accessed on November 30th, 2013.
  • 5.   5  to Puerto Rico.23 Sugar ceased to be a luxury commodity–but demand soared as prices fell, leaving the new white planter class that ruled the islands among the wealthiest merchants of their day.  The sugar industry therefore became so important to Britain that at one point it was described as the “richest jewel in the English crown”.24 However, planters faced difficulty in finding men to farm their crops. Sugar cane is tough and fibrous, and requires considerable effort to cut; sugar was then extracted in the inhuman conditions of “boiling houses,” where vast fires were kept roaring day and night to heat the cane and refine its juices.25 At first the planters depended on indentured servants brought from home on long-term contracts, but the work proved too hard for all but the most desperate, and the islands acquired a reputation as hotbeds of disease. Most poor whites found it easier to seek work in the fast-growing colonies of North America.26 When they left, the planters turned to their only other source of manpower–slaves. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the slave trade produced the greatest forced migration known to history. The Lesser Antilles islands of Barbados, St. Kitts, Antigua, Martinique and Guadeloupe and St. Lucia were the first important slave societies of the Caribbean, switching to slavery by the end of the 17th century as their economies converted from tobacco to sugar production. By the middle of the 18th century, British Jamaica and French Saint Domingue (Haiti) had become the largest and most brutal slave societies in the region, rivaling Brazil as a destination for enslaved Africans. The real boom in the slave trade started in the 17th century, with the need for labor to work the sugar plantations in the West Indies. The Anglo-Spanish Treaty of Utrecht 1713, which concluded the war of Spanish succession, raised transactions in African slaves into definite international obligations. Under it, Britain obtained the valuable monopoly (which was made over to the South Sea Company) to supply 144,000 slaves of both sexes, and of all ages, at the rate of 4,800 negroes a year over a period of 30 years.27 Between 1492 and 1820 five or six times as many Africans went to the Americas as did white Europeans.28 An estimated 12 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, and even allowing for the two million who died en voyage,29 a vast number of slaves survived to reach destinations that ranged from Brazil to the colonies of North America. Four million of these men, women and children finished their journeys in the sugar islands of the Caribbean, where—                                                          23 Smithsonian: Antigua’s Disputed Slave Conspiracy of 1736. [Internet] Available from:< http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2013/01/antiguas-disputed-slave-conspiracy-of-1736/> Accessed on November 30th, 2013. 24 Umozurike U. O (1979) International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 2 25 Smithsonian: Antigua’s Disputed Slave Conspiracy of 1736. [Internet] Available from:< http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2013/01/antiguas-disputed-slave-conspiracy-of-1736/> Accessed on November 30th, 2013. 26 Smithsonian: Antigua’s Disputed Slave Conspiracy of 1736. [Internet] Available from:< http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2013/01/antiguas-disputed-slave-conspiracy-of-1736/> Accessed on November 30th, 2013. 27 Umozurike U. O (1979) International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 7 28 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 110 29 An example is the 1781 massacre on the slave trade ship Zong, in which hundreds of Africans were thrown overboard, alive, so that the voyage’s investors would receive insurance compensation for them. The investors would not have received compensation if the enslaved people had died while on board the ship. See Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 72-73
  • 6.   6  thanks to the pestilential conditions—huge numbers were required to replace those who had died. It has been calculated that more than 150,000 slaves had to be landed in Barbados to produce a stable population of just 20,000: a phenomenon known to the planters as “seasoning.” The death rates for black slaves in these islands were higher than birth rates. The decrease averaged about 3 percent per year in Jamaica and 4 percent a year in the smaller islands. The main causes for this were overwork and malnutrition. Slaves worked from sun up to sun down in harsh conditions. They were supervised under demanding masters, who gave them little medical care. Slaves also had poor living conditions and consequently they contracted many diseases. The diary of slave owner Thomas Thistlewood of Jamaica details the extreme violence against slaves, and constitutes important historical documentation of the conditions for Caribbean slaves.30 For centuries slavery made sugarcane production possible. The low level of technology made production difficult and labor intensive. At the same time, the demand for sugar was rising, particularly in Great Britain. The French colony of Saint Domingue quickly began to out-produce all of the British islands' sugar combined. Thus, for almost four centuries, Europeans carried out the trans-Atlantic slave trade exclusively. The profits that accrued were so enormous, as to form part of the foundation for the prosperity of the Western world. Slavery was at the heart of colonialism, especially for the British, central not only to the American southern plantation economies but also to the northern economies, which exported products to the slave plantations of the West Indies and southern mainland.31 The slave trade was once considered not only a lawful but desirable branch of commerce, participation in which was made the object of wars, negotiations and treaties, between different European countries.32 The French Republic first abolished slavery in 1794; this took effect in all French colonies. Slavery in the French West Indies was reinstated in 1802 by Napoleon I as France re-secured its possessions in the Caribbean, however unsuccessfully in Saint Domingue leading to its final declaration of independence on January 1st, 1804. Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807 and the slavery itself in 1833. In France, the slave trade was abolished by Napoleon in 1815, while slavery was re-abolished in 1848. Notwithstanding its abolition, slavery has had negative psychological, material, and social consequences for the descendants of the enslaved.33 III. THE IMPACT OF NATIVE GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY ON THE CARIBBEAN REGION TODAY The consequences of the dark sides of European colonization of the West Indies                                                          30 Hall, D. (1999), In Miserable Slavery: Thomas Thistlewood in Jamaica, 1750-86, Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press. 31 Mieville, C., (2006) Between Equal Rights: A Marxist Theory Of International Law. London: Pluto Press p. 232. 32 Umozurike U. O (1979), International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 7 33 Rupert Lewis “Britain’s Black Debt—Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide by Hilary McD. Beckles (review)”. [Internet] Available from:< http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_interdisciplinary_history/v044/44 .3.lewis.html> Accessed on November 30th, 2013
  • 7.   7  are vividly clear in the Caribbean today. In contrast to their three European counterparts who all have industrialized economies and who can be said to have pioneered the industrial revolution as early as the 18th century,34 sustainable development continues to evade most Caribbean countries. Those who believe that the European economic boom and colonial expansion of Europeans into the non- European world were merely incidental, ignore the fact that it was only after the advent of colonialism, were these European countries able to economically surpass ancient economies such as that of China and India.35 As such, it is no secret that colonialism laid the foundation for the vast modern economies of Britain, France and the Netherlands. In 1834, the UK paid in the region £20 million then 40% of Britain’s budget, to slave masters for lost of their human property following abolition of slavery.36 It is claimed that this sum is equivalent to £200 billion today,37 a sizeable portion of the UK’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Parliament turned to the technologies of accounting and literacy to track and then decide who was entitled to compensation. 38 Banks, acting as trustees for beneficiaries of family fortunes built on slave labor, collected compensation for slaves lost by their beneficiaries.39 Slavery was profitable until the very end’.40 The profits made from generations of captivity and the final buyout of slave-owners then passed down through generations; ‘the avenues used to travel deep into the social heartland of British societies were annuities, marriage settlements, and legacies’. 41 The slave trade and profits from enslaved labor fueled the economic growth of Europe from the seventeenth through the middle of the 19th century.42 The profits of slavery were the vehicle for the family rising from the merchant class to that of royalty. The 7th Earl of Harewood, born in 1923, was a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II. He hosted her 1953 visit to the sugar plantation in the West Indies. While this is only a single family, it illustrates the connections between slavery and present wealth in the UK today.43 Few twenty-first century historians doubt the centrality of slavery to economics.44 In 2007, in the Debate on the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British House of Commons, Vincent Cable,                                                          34 Xing, L., and Hersh J., (2004), The Genesis of Capitalism: The Nexus Between “Politics in Command” and Social Engineering. American Review of the Political Economy. p. 116 35 Cassese A. (1992), International Law in Divided World. Oxford. Oxford University Press p. 39 36 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 144  37 Quarterly Americas: CARICOM and Reparations. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.americasquarterly.org/content/caricom-and-reparations> Accessed on Friday October 18th 2013 38 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 154  39 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 156-157  40 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 159  41 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 151  42 Brophy, A. L. (2013) The Case for Reparations for Slavery in the Caribbean (Review Essay), Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies p. 1  43 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press   44 Brophy, A. L. (2013) The Case for Reparations for Slavery in the Caribbean (Review Essay), Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies p. 2
  • 8.   8  Member of Parliament, made it clear that “Britain should acknowledge in some form that modern British society owes much of its prosperity and many of its institutions to what happened all those years ago”.45 In 2012, although having a population of 63.7 million,46 the UK’s GDP per capita was $38,514.47 In the same year, the population of France was 65.7 million; its GDP per capita was $39,772.48 The population of the Netherlands was 16.77 million, while its GDP per capita was $46,054.49 These statistics reveal the vast economies of these European countries; economic superiority, which is underpinned by European expansion into the non- European world during the colonial era and the exploitation of slave, labor that it obviously entailed. However, though there was money for slave-owners, the enslaved people freed in the 1830s, when Britain ended slavery received nothing from the government in compensation for generations of forced labor. 50 This lack of compensation left its mark on the Caribbean. It resulted in the inability of these former slaves to combat the reverberations of emancipation. Although they were now free, relations between them and these Europeans, which continued to colonize these territories after emancipation, were far from equal. Little was done in terms of transitioning these former slaves from the life of servitude and ‘de-humanization’ to freedom and ‘re-humanization’. For example, it would be many years before formal education was made available to these former slaves, and even when such education became available it was vastly insufficient. This still has a major impact on literacy rates in the region today, especially among older generations. Even less was done to augment the development of these people coming out of slavery, who would eventually have to take over governance of these territories. Apart from what they had learned on the plantation, little knowledge was imparted on them in terms of agriculture, which would come to form the primary commodity in most of these post- colonial countries, given the lack of viable natural resources in most of these islands. As such, and given that former slave owners retained ownership of the land, most newly liberated slaves focused on subsistence farming, due to lack of knowledge and land to embark on commercial farming for export. As a consequence, for a long time the only jobs to be had was on the lands of former plantations owners. So for the next century or more after emancipation, the livelihood of the newly liberated class remained at the mercy of their former masters. As revealed by Beckles, prostitution, which is rampant among Caribbean black women today, is also a legacy bequeathed upon them during slavery. Documented evidence exist of the practice of slave owners encouraging sexual relations of black slave women with white men for money. Due to the social status of Caribbean countries, this practice continues today. So while prostitution in countries such as the Netherlands is practiced out of want, due to the                                                          45 Vincent Cable, Member of Parliament, Debate on the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, House of Commons, 20 March 2007. See Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 24  46 Office for National Statistics: Population. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Population>Accessed on December 19th 2013.  47 World Bank Data: GDP per Capita. [Internet] Available from:< http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD>Accessed on December 19, 2013.  48 World Bank Data: GDP per Capita. [Internet] Available from:< http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD>Accessed on December 19, 2013.  49 World Bank Data: GDP per Capita. [Internet] Available from:< http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD>Accessed on December 19, 2013.  50 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 159 
  • 9.   9  many opportunities that exist in these countries; lack of such opportunities in Caribbean countries has made Caribbean women engage in such practices out of need. The transition from formal, legal slavery to a reformed system of slavery took the shape of apartheid in the Caribbean.51 It constituted the platform the ongoing criminal enrichment of the imperial state and its principal colonial institutional supporters, particularly those who monopolized their ownership of economic resources in the Caribbean. 52 These historical factors combined, significantly influenced early socio-economic conditions in Caribbean countries, which have a telling effect on the lives of Caribbean people today. So, in comparison to the three economies aforementioned, the CARICOM Member State with the highest GDP per capita is the Bahamas,53 which stood at $21,908 in 2012, while unsurprisingly Haiti held the lowest position with a GDP per capita of merely $771.54 The GDP per capita of sovereign55 OECS Member States range from U.S. $6,558 in St. Lucia to $13,969 in St. Kitts and Nevis.56 The paradox here is that, while colonialism and its manifold evils laid down the foundation for the welfare state in these European countries and very high standards of living in these countries, the descendants of those that made these living standards possible continue to struggle in abject poverty in Caribbean today; reaping none of the fruits of the labor of their ancestors. The past harms are clear; few doubt the contemporary echoes. The causal link between the crimes of slavery and the ongoing harm and injury to descendants is everywhere to be found in the Caribbean. Caribbean countries continue to be plagued by poverty and underdevelopment, which will continue to hinder their aims at augmenting their domestic economies. For example, Haiti, with its population of almost 10 million, falls in the category of LDCs, according to the WTO’s list of least developed countries,57 and hopes of it graduating from this category anytime in the near future are remote. Antigua and Barbuda defaulted on its debt obligations in 2010.58 Barbados, most recently has had to shelve an attempt to raise $500 million in international markets.59 Grenada, is currently facing a debt crisis, and its finances has been described by the Economist as an “unholy mess, [that] threaten to push up poverty”.60 St. Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica are currently burdened with                                                          51 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 22  52 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 22  53 The Bahamas has a population of approximately 300,000.   54 World Bank Data: GDP per Capita. [Internet] Available from:< http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD>Accessed on December 19, 2013.  55 Montserrat and Anguilla are OECS Member States but are British Dependent Territories. 56 World Bank Data: GDP per Capita. [Internet] Available from:< http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD>Accessed on December 19, 2013.  57 Understanding the WTO: The Organization, Least-developed Countries. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/org7_e.htm> Accessed on December 20th 2013.  58 Caribbean 360: Grenada default has negative implications for ECCU. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/business/673881.html#axzz2nwPqJyia> Accessed on December 19th 2013. 59 The Economist, The Caribbean Debt Crisis: God vs Bondholders. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21589472-small-debt-ridden-countries-could-benefit- divine-intervention-god-v> Accessed on December 20th 2013.  60 The Economist, The Caribbean Debt Crisis: God vs Bondholders. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21589472-small-debt-ridden-countries-could-benefit- divine-intervention-god-v> Accessed on December 20th 2013. 
  • 10.   10  government debt that is 1.4 percent of their GDP, 61 causing St. Kitts and Nevis to default on its debt obligations in 2011.62 According to the Government of Saint Lucia’s Economic and Social Review 2012, Saint Lucia has achieved universal access to primary and secondary education. However, issues of quality and relevance of the education system remain. 63 These issues include low levels of matriculation requirements to enter tertiary institutions; mismatch between available job opportunities and the current skills of school leavers; low output of tertiary education; insufficient opportunities for school leavers to attain skills training post- secondary education; insufficient programs to empower youth to create employment opportunities for themselves; deficit of highly technical skills which are required to produce higher valued goods and services for export; and the lack of opportunities for retraining and retooling of the labor force to take full advantage of the pervasiveness of new technologies. Labor force data suggest that over 61% of the population, 15 years and over, does not possess certificates above primary level education.64 Notwithstanding the heavy reliance of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on tourism, following the collapse of the Caribbean banana export regime, up until 2005, talks of an international airport in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was still unheard of. These problems are only a few of the problems that plague Caribbean countries. They reveal the encumbrances, which the governments of these countries have to overcome in an attempt to improve the socio-economic welfare of these peoples. IV. CARICOM: THE MAIN PROTAGONIST IN THE REPARATIONS BID A. WHAT IS CARICOM? As mentioned above, CARICOM is an international organization in the Caribbean Region, with a common market at its core. It consists of 15 Member States, 5 associate members and 7 states with observer status. To understand CARICOM’s role in this reparations bid, it is essential that one understand the framework, which underpins this regional organization. The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is the result of a 15-year effort to fulfill the hope of regional integration.65 This desire for regional integration originated with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation in 1958.66 The West Indies                                                          61 The Economist, The Caribbean Debt Crisis: God vs Bondholders. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21589472-small-debt-ridden-countries-could-benefit- divine-intervention-god-v> Accessed on December 20th 2013.  62 Caribbean 360: Grenada default has negative implications for ECCU. [Internet] Available from: <http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/business/673881.html#axzz2nwPqJyia> Accessed on December 19th 2013. 63 Saint Lucia Post 2015 National Consultation Draft Preliminary Report No. 1 pp. 3-4  64 Saint Lucia Post 2015 National Consultation Draft Preliminary Report No. 1 p. 3   65 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 66 Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, the then St Kitts-Nevis- Anguilla, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago. The Federation was established by the British Caribbean Federation Act of 1956 with the aim of establishing a political union among its members.
  • 11.   11  Federation came to an end in 1962.67 However the Federations end may be regarded as the real beginning of what is now the Caribbean Community. With the end of the Federation, political leaders in the Caribbean strived to strengthen the ties between the islands and mainland,68 by providing for the continuance and strengthening of the areas of cooperation that existed during the Federation.69 Importantly, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago both attained independence in August of that year and with this independence came the power to control their own domestic and external affairs. In announcing its intention to withdraw from the Federation, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago proposed the creation of a Caribbean Community, consisting not only of the 10 members of the Federation, but also of the three Guianas and all the islands of the Caribbean Sea–both independent and non- independent.70 To discuss this concept, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago convened the first Heads of Government Conference in July 1963, which was attended by the leaders of Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. At this Conference, the participating leaders of the four (4) Caribbean Countries all spoke clearly of the need for close cooperation with Europe, Africa and Latin America.71 In July 1965, talks between the Premiers of Barbados and British Guiana and the Chief Minister of Antigua on the possible establishment of a Free Trade Area in the Caribbean resulted in the announcement of definite plans to establish a Free Trade Area.72 In December that year, Heads of Government of Antigua, Barbados and British Guiana signed an Agreement at Dickenson Bay, Antigua, to set up the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA).73 The new CARIFTA agreement came into effect on May 1, 1968, with the participation of Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. The original idea to permit all territories in the Region to participate in the Association was achieved later that year with the entry of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent in July                                                          67 The decisive development, which led to the demise of the Federation, was the withdrawal of Jamaica - the largest member - after conducting a national referendum in 1961 on its continued participation in the arrangement. This led to the now famous statement of Dr Eric Williams, the then Premier of Trinidad and Tobago that, “one from ten leaves nought”, referring to the withdrawal of Jamaica and signifying and justifying his decision to withdraw Trinidad and Tobago from the Federal arrangement a short while later. See Caribbean Community Secretariat: The West Indies Federation. [Internet] Available from: < http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/west_indies_federation.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 68 Belize, Guyana and Suriname are the non-island members of CARICOM found on the South American mainland. 69 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: < http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 70 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: < http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 71 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 72 Caribbean Community Secretariat: The Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/carifta.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 73 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013.
  • 12.   12  and of Jamaica and Montserrat on August 1, 1968. British Honduras (Belize) became a member in May 1971.74 At the Seventh Heads of Government Conference in October 1972, Caribbean Leaders decided to transform CARIFTA into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community of which the Common Market would be an integral part. At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of CARIFTA held in April 1973 in Georgetown Guyana, the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought into fruition with the consideration of Heads of Government of the draft legal instruments and with the signing by the 11 members of CARIFTA (the exception being Antigua and Montserrat).75 The Accord provided for the signature of the Caribbean Community Treaty on July 4 and its coming into effect in August 1973, among the then four independent countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. The Georgetown Accord also provided that the other eight territories - Antigua, British Honduras (Belize), Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla and St. Vincent which signed the Accord would become full members of the Community by May 1, 1974. 76 The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which was signed by Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago and came into effect on August 1, 1973. Subsequently the other eight Caribbean territories joint CARICOM. The Bahamas became the 13th Member State of the Community on July 4, 1983, but not a member of the Common Market.77 Suriname became the 14th Member State of the Caribbean Community on July 4, 1995. Haiti secured provisional membership on 4 July 1998 and on 03 July 2002 became the first French-speaking Caribbean state to become a full Member of CARICOM.78 B. INSTITUTIONAL MAKEUP OF CARICOM Under Article 6 of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas 2001, the objectives of the Caribbean Community are to improve standards of living and work;79 the full employment of labor and other factors of production;80 accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence; 81 expansion of trade and economic relations with third state; 82 enhanced levels of international                                                          74 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 75 Caribbean Community Secretariat: The Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/carifta.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 76 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 77 Caribbean Community Secretariat: History of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). [Internet] Available from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/community/history.jsp?menu=community> Accessed on November 28th, 2013. 78 In July 1991, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos became Associated Members of CARICOM, followed by Anguilla in July 1999. The Cayman Islands became the fourth Associate Member of the regional grouping on 16 May 2002, and Bermuda the fifth Associate Member on 2 July 2003. 79 Article 6(a) 80 Article 6(b) 81 Article 6(c) 82 Article 6(d)
  • 13.   13  competitiveness; 83 organization for increased production and productivity; 84 achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage;85 effectiveness of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States and entities of any description;86 and the enhanced coordination of Member States’ foreign and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional cooperation.87 In many ways the institutional makeup of CARICOM is similar to that of other IOs that exist in the international system. Article 10 of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas 2001 sets out CARICOM’s institutional arrangement. According to article 10(1), the principal organs of the Community are the Conference of Heads of Government,88 which is the supreme organ of the Community89 and the Community Council of Ministers,90 which is the second highest organ. Article 10(2) of the treaty sets out that in the performance of their functions, the principal organs are to be assisted by the following organs: the Council for Finance and Planning;91 the Council for Trade and Economic Development;92 the Council for Foreign and Community Relations,93 and the Council for Human and Social Development.94 For the purpose of this article, of particular importance is the Conference of the Heads of Government; the main proponent of the reparations bid.95 The Conference of Heads of Government consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States,96 although any Head of State may appoint any Minister or other person to represent him or her at any Meeting of the Conference.97 The primary responsibility of the Conference is to determine and provide policy direction for the Community.98  It is the final authority for the conclusion of treaties on behalf of the Community and for entering into relationships between the Community and other international organizations and States.99 The Conference is empowered take decisions for the purpose of establishing the financial arrangements necessary to defray the expenses of the Community and is the final authority on questions arising in relation to the financial affairs of the Community.100 Subject to the relevant provisions of this Treaty, the Conference is empowered to exercise such powers as conferred on it by or under any instrument elaborated by or under the auspices of the Community.101 It is empowered to establish such Organs or Bodies, as it considers necessary for the                                                          83 Article 6(e) 84 Article 6(f) 85 Article 6(g) 86 Article 6(h) 87 Article 6(i) 88 Article 10(1)(a) 89 Article 12(1) 90 Article 10(1)(b) 91 Article 10(2)(a) 92 Article 10(2)(b) 93 Article 10(2)(c) 94 Article 10(2)(d) 95 Caribbean Community Secretariat, Heads agree on reparations follow up action. [Internet] Accessed from: <http://www.CARICOM.org/jsp/pressreleases/press_releases_2013/pres147_13.jsp> Accessed on Friday October 18th 2013. 96 Article (11)(1) 97 Article (11)(2) 98 Article (12)(2) 99 Article (12)(3) 100 Article (12)(4) 101 Article (12)(5)
  • 14.   14  achievement of the objectives of the Community.102 The Conference may issue policy directives of a general or special character to other Organs and Bodies of the Community concerning the policies to be pursued for the achievement of the objectives of the Community.103  Notwithstanding any other provision of this Treaty, the Conference may consider and resolve disputes between Member States.104 Fundamentally, the Conference may consult with entities within the Caribbean Region or with other organizations and for this purpose may establish such machinery, as it considers necessary to achieve the aims of the organization.105  The Conference is empowered to regulate its own procedure and may decide to admit at its deliberations, as observers, representatives of non-Member States of the Community and other entities.106 The powers which the Conference of the Heads of Government are endowed with by virtue of Article 12, is the basis for CARICOM’s representation of its Member States in this claim for reparations. V. LOOKING INTO CARICOM’S REPARATIONS CLAIM Having established the basis of this claim for reparations and the evolution and institutional framework of CARICOM, this article seeks to unearth the logic behind using CARICOM as the medium by which to pursue the reparations desires of these 14 Caribbean countries. At first glance, it appears that in addition to providing a more organized, cost-effective and politically-influential way of pursuing this claim for reparations; the general aim of CARICOM in promoting social and sustainable economic development in the Caribbean region as depicted in the preamble of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramus 2001, through its various initiatives, is largely in line with seeking compensation for the regions peoples, stemming from the enslavement and genocide of their ancestors. More fundamentally however, the CARICOM Reparations Committee,107 is an offshoot of CARICOM’s Conference of the Heads of Government, with each Head of State aiming to secure the welfare of his country in this reparations bid. Therefore, each country has appointed a reparations committee, tasked, inter alia, with determining the manner in which reparations will be distributed and who will receive these reparations; with the chair of each of these 14 individual committees holding a seat on the CARICOM Reparations Committee.108 Reparations for slavery and native genocide have a long but troubled history in the Caribbean. Despite international politico-economic intimidation in the Western world, Caribbean governments believe that there is a reparation case to be answered by the Europeans in respect of their colonial                                                          102 Article (12)(6) 103 Article (12)(7) 104 Article (12)(8) 105 Article (12)(9) 106 Article (12)(10) 107 North American Congress on Latin America: CARICOM Moves Forward with the Reparations Committee. [Internet] Available from: <http://nacla.org/blog/2013/8/8/CARICOM-moves-forward-reparations- committee>Accessed on Friday October 18th, 2013 108 Caribbean Community Secretariat: Communique issued at the conclusion of the First Regional Conference on Reparations. [Internet] Available from: < http://www.caricom.org/jsp/pressreleases/press_releases_2013/pres201_13.jsp> Accessed on November 29th, 2013.
  • 15.   15  domination of the West Indies.109 Colonialism resulted in two of the greatest crimes against humanity ever committed, native genocide and the slave regime and the century of racial apartheid that followed.110 The primary case is based on the past brutality and economic benefit–and the current underdevelopment of the Caribbean region. Essentially, it confronts the vast economic divides between France and Haiti, the Netherlands and Suriname, and Britain and its numerous former colonies in the Caribbean basin, given the poverty stricken economies of these former colonies and their role in laying the foundation of the industrialized economies of their former colonial masters. It entails a case for reparatory justice for the region’s indigenous and African descendant communities who are the victims of crimes against humanity in the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading, and racial apartheid.111 Thus, CARICOM Heads-of-State under the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) has embarked on a ten-point claim for reparations. This case proposes the delivery of this mandate within the formulation of the Caricom Reparations Justice Program (CRJP). The CRC asserts that victims and descendants of these crimes against humanity have a legal right to reparatory justice, and that those who committed these crimes, and who have been enriched by the proceeds of these crimes, have a reparatory case to answer.112 The CRJP recognizes the special role and status of European governments in this regard, being the legal bodies that instituted the framework for developing and sustaining these crimes. These governments, furthermore, served as the primary agencies through which slave-based enrichment took place, and as national custodians of criminally accumulated wealth. 113 As part of its reparations claim, CARICOM, first, seeks a full formal apology. Instead of the Statements of Regret that European governments have made in the past, the healing process for victims and the descendants of the enslaved require as a precondition the offer of a sincere formal apology by European governments. Statements of Regret do not acknowledge that crimes have been committed and represent a refusal to take responsibility for such crimes. Statements of regrets represent, furthermore, a reprehensible response to the call for apology in that they suggest that victims and their descendants are not worthy of an apology. According to the CRC only a full formal apology will suffice. 114 Second, the CRC seeks a program of repatriation back to Africa. Over 10 million Africans were stolen from their homes and forcefully transported to the Caribbean as the enslaved chattel and property of Europeans. The transatlantic slave trade is the largest forced migration in human history and has no parallel in terms of man’s inhumanity to                                                          109 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 1 110 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 1 111 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 112 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 113 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 114 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014.
  • 16.   16  man. This trade in enchained bodies was a highly successful commercial business for the nations of Europe. The lives of millions of men, women and children were destroyed in search of profit. The descendants of these stolen people have a legal right to return to their homeland. Consequently it is the case of these countries that a repatriation program be established and all available channels of international law and diplomacy used to resettle those persons who wish to return. A resettlement program should address such matters as citizenship and deploy available best practices in respect of community re-integration.115 Third, CARICOM seeks the initiation and funding of an indigenous peoples development program. It is conceded that European governments committed genocide on the native Caribbean population. Military commanders were given official instructions by their governments to eliminate these communities and to remove those who survived these atrocities from the region. Genocide and land appropriation went hand-in- hand. A community of over 3,000,000 in 1700 had been reduced to less than 30,000 in 2000. Survivors remain traumatized, landless, and are the most marginalized social group within the region. The CRC claims that while the University of the West Indies offers an Indigenous Peoples Scholarship in a desperate effort at rehabilitation; it is woefully insufficient. It is therefore conceded that a development plan is required to rehabilitate this community. 116 Fourth, as part of its claim, CARICOM seeks the establishment of cultural institutions in the Caribbean basin. According to the CRC, European nations have invested in the development of community institutions such as museums and research centers in order to prepare their citizens for an understanding of these crimes against humanity. These facilities serve to reinforce within the consciousness of their citizens an understanding of their role in history as rulers and agents of change. However, there are no such institutions in the Caribbean where these crimes against humanity were committed. Caribbean schoolteachers and researchers do not have the same opportunity. Descendants of these atrocities continue to suffer the disdain of having no relevant institutional systems through which their experience can be scientifically told. This crisis must be remedied within the CJRP. 117 Fifth, the CRC has highlighted the public health crisis in the Caribbean. According to research in the region, the African descended population has the highest incidence in the world of chronic diseases in the forms of hypertension and type two diabetes. This pandemic is the direct result of the nutritional experience, physical and emotional brutality, and overall stress profiles associated with slavery, genocide, and apartheid. The CRC claims that while over 10 million Africans were imported into the Caribbean during the 400 years of slavery, at the end of slavery in the late 19th century less than 2 million remained. The chronic health condition of Caribbean blacks now constitutes the greatest financial risk to sustainability in the region. Arresting this pandemic requires the injection of science, technology, and capital                                                          115 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 116 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 117 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014.
  • 17.   17  beyond the capacity of the region. Thus, Europe has a responsibility to participate in the alleviation of this heath disaster. The CRJP addresses this issue and calls upon European governments to take responsibility for this tragic human legacy of slavery and colonialism. 118 Sixth, the CRC seeks a program of illiteracy eradication. At the end of the European colonial period in most parts of the Caribbean, the British in particular left the black and indigenous communities in a general state of illiteracy. Some 70 percent of blacks in British colonies were functionally illiterate in the 1960s when nation states began to appear. Jamaica, the largest such community, was home to the largest number of such citizens. Widespread illiteracy has subverted the development efforts of these nation states and represents a drag upon social and economic advancement. Today, Caribbean governments allocate more than 70 percent of public expenditure to health and education in an effort to uproot the legacies of slavery and colonization. European governments, therefore, have a responsibility to participate in this effort within the context of the CRJP.119 Seventh, the CRC seeks the establishment of an African knowledge program. The forced separation of Africans from their homeland has resulted in cultural and social alienation from identity and existential belonging. Denied the right in law to life, and divorced by space from the source of historic self, Africans have craved the right to return and knowledge of the route to their roots. According to these countries, a program of action is required to build ‘bridges of belonging’.120 Such projects as school exchanges and culture tours, community artistic and performance programs, entrepreneurial and religious engagements, as well as political interaction, are required in order to neutralize the void created by slave voyages. Such actions will serve to build knowledge networks that are necessary for community rehabilitation.121 Eighth, the CRC seeks psychological rehabilitation, according to this body, for over 400 years Africans and their descendants were classified in law as non-human, chattel, property, and real estate. They were denied recognition as members of the human family by laws derived from the parliaments and palaces of Europe. This history has inflicted massive psychological trauma upon African descendant populations. This much is evident daily in the Caribbean. Only a reparatory justice approach to truth and educational exposure can begin the process of healing and repair. Such an engagement will call into being, for example, the need for greater Caribbean integration designed to enable the coming together of the fragmented community.122 Ninth, the CRC seeks a technology transfer request from European governments. For 400 years the trade and production policies of Europe could be summed up in the British slogan: “not a                                                          118 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 119 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 120 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 121 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 122 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014.
  • 18.   18  nail is to be made in the colonies”. The Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization process, and was confined to the role of producer and exporter of raw materials. This system was designed to extract maximum value from the region and to enable maximum wealth accumulation in Europe. The effectiveness of this policy meant that the Caribbean entered its nation-building phase as a technologically and scientifically ill-equipped- backward space within the postmodern world economy. Generations of Caribbean youth, as a consequence, have been denied membership and access to the science and technology culture that is the world’s youth patrimony. Technology transfer and science sharing for development must be a part of the CRJP. Tenth, Caribbean governments seek a program of debt cancellation. Caribbean governments that emerged from slavery and colonialism have inherited the massive crisis of community poverty and institutional unpreparedness for development. These governments still daily engage in the business of cleaning up the colonial mess in order to prepare for development. The pressure of development has driven governments to carry the burden of public employment and social policies designed to confront colonial legacies. This process has resulted in states accumulating unsustainable levels of public debt that now constitute their fiscal entrapment. This debt cycle properly belongs to the imperial governments who have made no sustained attempt to deal with debilitating colonial legacies. Support for the payment of domestic debt and cancellation of international debt are necessary reparatory actions. 123 VI. REPARATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL WRONGS: THE CASE OF NATIVE GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY IN THE CARIBBEAN A. THE EUROPEAN POSITION In 2007, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed regret for slavery during the events marking the bicentennial anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by the British Parliament. But he stopped short of an apology, which could have led to discussions about remedial measures.124 Others have sought to provide justification as William Devaynes, a former Chairman of the East India Company did in the 19th century. He supported the slave trade on the basis that if the slave merchants did not purchase from him and others, their prisoners taken in war would be killed.125 Since the mid-nineteenth-century abolition of slavery, the call for reparations for the crime of African enslavement and native genocide has been growing, but call for reparations have been fragmented, given the diversities that                                                          123 CARICOM nations unanimously approve 10 point plan for slavery reparations: Leigh Day [Internet] Available from: <http://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2014/March-2014/CARICOM-nations-unanimously- approve-10-point-plan-> Accessed on March 25th 2014. 124 Rupert Lewis “Britain’s Black Debt—Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide by Hilary McD. Beckles (review)”. [Internet] Available from:< http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_interdisciplinary_history/v044/44 .3.lewis.html> Accessed on November 30th, 2013 125 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 112
  • 19.   19  exist among the region’s peoples.126 As such calls for reparations for slavery and native genocide have been given short shrift by those responsible. A primary reason for this is as a result of the legal constraints involved in pursuing reparations. For example, in undermining the reparations objectives of these countries, it is claimed that slavery existed in antiquity and formed one of the major characteristics of ancient society. All Empires in history prior to the beginning of the nineteenth century have been slave-owning societies.127 It was therefore recognized by the ancient Law of Nations.128 Slavery and the slave trade was facilitated and sustained by international law. Sadly, it is difficult to say that customary international law condemns two of the greatest curses which man has ever imposed upon his fellow man, the institution of slavery and the traffic in slaves.129 In the 19th century case of The Antelope,130 the U.S. Supreme Court found that since Europe and America had embarked on the slave trade for two centuries without opposition and without censure, no jurist could hold that it was illegal or that those who engaged in it might be punished or deprived of their property.131 The status quo, as it is so often, was powerful. Arguments against slavery were frequently met first with the response that slaves, as property could not be taken from their owners.132 The opposition to slavery was, as Ralph Waldo Emerson acknowledged, a piece with other reform movements; they were all attacks in some way on property.133 According to Emerson, “slavery and anti-slavery is the question of property and no property, rent and anti- rent; and Anti-slavery dare not yet say that every man must do his own work, or, at least, receive no interest for his money. Yet that is at last the upshot”.134 It is a sad fact that inhumane behavior frequently has no better defense than that rights to private property must be respected. Morality is so often sacrificed for money. Just as people at the time understood the inhumanity – indeed immorality – of slavery, they also understood the economic necessity of slavery to slave-owners. The pro slavery literature at the time frequently justified the institution on economic grounds. In this case, the defense of slave property served its purpose well. For the slave trade and profits from enslaved labor fueled the economic growth of Europe from the seventeenth through the middle of the 19th century.135 It is most unfortunate that these arguments have survived and continue to be argued in the modern day. Sir Hilary Beckles, who is now the Chairman of the National Reparations Committee, led the Caribbean, lobby for reparations at the 2001 conference on racism in Durban, South Africa. The position taken by government delegations from the United States                                                          126 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press 127 Pagden A. (2002) Peoples and Empires: Europeans and the Rest of the World, From Antiquity to the Present. Phoenix Press, p. 106 128 Umozurike U. O (1979) International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 6 129 Umozurike U. O (1979) International Law and Colonialism In Africa. Enugu: Nwamife Publishers Limited p. 8 130 25 U.S. 66, (1825) 131 Wheaton’s Reports X, 66 132 See, e.g. ‘House of Delegates’, Richmond Enquirer, January 21,1832, 2 (reprinting speech of James Gholson during debates about the future of slavery in Virginia in the wake of Nat Turner’s rebellion). 133 Brophy, A. L. (2013) The Case for Reparations for Slavery in the Caribbean (Review Essay), Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies p. 1 134 Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson 7 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin Co., 1912): 205. 135 Brophy, A. L. (2013) The Case for Reparations for Slavery in the Caribbean (Review Essay), Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies p. 1
  • 20.   20  and the European Union was that slavery should have been a crime against humanity, though it was not considered so at the time.136 So, claims for reparations have been hindered so far for being devoid of any legal content as per Europeans. Nonetheless, the basis of all European trade law, during colonialism, was that the colonies were part of the domestic economic space of the nation; hence the capacity of government to enforce trade laws and investment rights, and ensure compliance with the will of parliament.137 Thus, for example, the official position of the British government, that slavery was legal at the time it was enforced does not stand up to scrutiny of British law. It is insufficient to argue that it was legalized by the colonial government, which in turn, understood, from its judicial arm, that its illegality in England created a double standard a contradiction within English civil and common law.138 B. A LEGAL CASE FOR REPARATIONS The question of reparations is not just a question of reading twenty-first century morals back onto actors several centuries ago. To the contrary, some people at the time knew slavery was wrong. This was not just an attitude held in high-brow circles; a British newspaper reported in 1824 that the ‘crime of creating and upholding the slavery of the West Indies is a national crime, and not the crime of slave-holders alone’.139 Moreover, judges such as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall recognized the inhumanity of slavery, even as they justified their refusal to take action against the international slave trade with arguments such as other countries are engaged in the international slave trade and have been since the beginning of time; slavery is economically necessary; and law is distinct from morals.140 Thus, the National Reparations Committee is drawing on the anti-slavery movement in Britain. It also draws upon the liberal philosophical, religious, and legal traditions of Europe, however, to show that the institution and practices of European slavery in the Caribbean were highly contested and that a considerable body of opinion opposed slavery on moral grounds.141 For example in Sommersett v. Steward,142 Chief Justice Mansfield held that, Sommersett, a slave detained on a ship on the Thames pending his return to the West Indies, was to be discharged; after a writ of habeus corpus was brought on his behalf. According to his Lordship: “the state of slavery is of such a nature that, that is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased                                                          136 Rupert Lewis “Britain’s Black Debt—Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide by Hilary McD. Beckles (review)”. [Internet] Available from:< http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_interdisciplinary_history/v044/44 .3.lewis.html> Accessed on November 30th, 2013 137 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 21  138 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 21  139 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 131 140 The Antelope, 25 U.S. 66, 115–16 (1825) 141 Rupert Lewis “Britain’s Black Debt—Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide by Hilary McD. Beckles (review)”. [Internet] Available from:< http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_interdisciplinary_history/v044/44 .3.lewis.html> Accessed on November 30th, 2013 142 (1772) English Reports, Kings Bench vol. 98, p. 499
  • 21.   21  from memory; it’s so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law”.143 So, while the call for reparations remains a fractured, contentious and divisive call; in recent years it has generated considerable public interest, especially within sections of the community that are concerned with issues of social justice, equity, civil and human rights, education, and cultural identity. The reparations discourse has been shaped by the voices from these fields as they seek to build a future upon the settlement of historical crimes. From this has arisen CARICOM’s case for reparations for slavery and native genocide, as these may be classed as crimes against humanity. Whether international law recognizes the mass annihilation of the native people of the Caribbean and the mass kidnap and enslavement of Africans from their homeland and transportation to plantations in the Caribbean as crimes against humanity, the following propositions cannot be denied. First, the mass genocide of the region’s native people and the kidnap and enslavement of Africans were two of the most wicked criminal enterprises in recorded human history. Second, no compensation was ever paid by any of the perpetrators of these vile acts to any of the sufferers. Third that the effects of the crime continue to be massive, both in terms of the enrichment of the descendants of the perpetrators, and in terms of the impoverishment of their descendants in the Caribbean today.144 As soon as these propositions are acknowledged, then the justice of CARICOM’s claim for Reparations is proved beyond reasonable doubt.145 Culminating in the following: first, native genocide of the regions native peoples and slavery and the slave trade, both constituted crimes against humanity; second, international law recognizes the right of victims of crimes against humanity to reparation; third, international law does not recognize any legal barrier to prevent those who still suffer the consequences of crimes against humanity from claiming reparations, even though the crimes were committed against their ancestors; fourth, reparations agenda should be directed against the governments of those countries, which promoted and were enriched by the slave trade and the institution of slavery. Even so, as attractive as the ideals of reparation may sound in practice, in theory things are not so simple, but this is not because international law does not provide a remedy for crimes against humanity. It is merely because the international community attaches minimal importance to this issue. However, in this context reference should be made to the Latin legal maxim: ubi jus, ibi remedium: where there is a right, there must be a remedy. In other words, notwithstanding the unique, massive and multi-faceted nature of the claim, and the fact that creative and imaginative international jurists will be needed; once the claim is well-founded in legal principle, and well-recognized by the international community, remedies and mechanisms will be found.146 International law has never been static. New structures have often been devised to give effect to recognized principles. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal is an example of new legal thinking which brought a measure justice following the atrocities of Nazi Germany against the Jews. After all, the International Court of Justice, where states can now                                                          143 (1772) English Reports, Kings Bench vol. 98, p. 510 144 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013. 145 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013. 146 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013.
  • 22.   22  settle disputes with each other by law rather than by war, was unheard of prior to 1945 establishment of the United Nations (U.N.). Given this state of affairs, the author finds himself perturbed by the length of time that has elapsed since the abolition of slavery and the fact that no reparation has ever been made to these people or their descendants. In considering the Charter establishing the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, it is the author’s opinion that CARICOM’s claim for reparations against Britain, France and the Netherlands for native genocide of the regions native peoples and slavery is legally valid as they both constitute crimes against humanity. The Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, which later compensated the Jews for the atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich, defined crimes against humanity in these words: “Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population.... whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country here perpetrated”.147 The Charter also gave jurisdiction to the Tribunal to try perpetrator for, among other crimes, deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory. The tribunal found that acts so reprehensible as to offend the conscience of mankind, directed against civilian populations, are crimes in international law.148 In 1948, the U.N. promoted the Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Most countries in the world have ratified it. However, the Convention was merely giving a new legal form to an old concept in international law. The preamble to the Convention recognized that ‘genocide is a crime against international law, and that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity. Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as: killing members of the group;149 causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;150 deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part151 ...”. Historians can show without difficulty how the invasion of African territories, the mass capture of Africans, the horrors of the middle passage, the chattelisation of Africans in the Americas, the extermination of the language and culture of the transported Africans, constituted violations of all these international laws. Therefore, the argument that these enterprises were legitimate under European law, and accepted as normal most Europeans, is unavailing today. Europeans did not, then or now, constitute all mankind, and the conscience of all decent mankind must always have been outraged by the atrocities that Europeans inflicted on Africans for over 400 years. Thus, it is not hard to see how the denial of human status to a vast section of humanity, whether through their enslavement or their annihilation were the ultimate crimes                                                          147 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013. 148 O’Connell D.P. l, International Law for Students 149 Article 2(a) 150 Article 2(b) 151 Article 2(c)
  • 23.   23  against humanity.152 Likewise, international law recognizes the right of victims of crimes against humanity to reparation. The right to reparation for international wrongs is well recognized, going as far back as the Permanent Court of International Justice (predecessor of the International Court of Justice).153 In the Chorzow Factory Case,154 it was held that: “the essential principle contained in the actual notion of an illegal act–a principle which seems to be established by international practice and in particular by the decisions of arbitral tribunals-is that the reparation must, as far as possible, wipe out all the consequences of the illegal act and re-establish the situation which would, in all probability, have existed if that act had not been committed. Restitution in kind, or, if this is not possible, payment of a sum corresponding to the value which a restitution in kind would bear; the award, if need be, of damages for loss sustained which would not be covered by restitution in kind or payment in place of it - such are the principles which should serve to determine the amount of compensation due for an act contrary to international law [must be made]”.155 Leading commentators on the subject have recognized the efforts that are being made by international judicial institutions, which have slowly groped their way towards the articulate formulation of the rule that the commission of an international tort (wrong) entails the duty to make reparations.156 The author acknowledges that most of the case law on reparations concerns the compensation for specific losses such as the destruction of property, buildings, ships etc. But the principle is just as valid in the case of illegal actions on a larger scale, which affect entire peoples, and indeed there are direct precedents for the payment of reparations in such cases. In 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany reached an agreement with Israel for the payment of $222 million, 157 following a claim by Israel for compensation. Israel which was limited to the costs of resettling 500,000 Jews who had fled from Nazi controlled countries. Much later, in 1990, Austria made payments totaling $25 million to survivors of the holocaust.158 A number of agreements have been made under the British Foreign Compensation Act of 1950; lump sum settlements were made by Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Egypt and Romania, and a Tribunal was set up to make awards from the sums made available, so as to do justice as between many thousands of claimants whose property had been expropriated. A US-Iran Claims Tribunal was established on 19th January 1981, to compensate American investors whose properties had been nationalized in Iran.159 Japan has made reparation payments to South Korea for acts committed during the period of invasion and occupation of Korea by Japan.160 The U.N. Security Council                                                          152 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013. 153 Predecessor of the International Court of Justice. 154 (Germany v. Poland) 1928 PCIJ (Ser. A) No. 17 (Judgment of September 13) 155 (Germany v. Poland) 1928 PCIJ (Ser. A) No. 17 (Judgment of September 13) at 47 156 Schwarzenberge 157 Daily News: Sri Lanka National Newspaper. [Internet] Available from: < http://www.dailynews.lk/features/make-reparations-slavery-africa> Accessed on December 20, 2013. 158 Daily News: Sri Lanka National Newspaper. [Internet] Available from: < http://www.dailynews.lk/features/make-reparations-slavery-africa> Accessed on December 20, 2013. 159 Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. [Internet] Available from: < http://www.iusct.net/>Accessed on December 20, 2013. 160 Daily News: Sri Lanka National Newspaper. [Internet] Available from: < http://www.dailynews.lk/features/make-reparations-slavery-africa> Accessed on December 20, 2013.
  • 24.   24  passed a resolution in 1991, binding in international law, requiring Iraq to pay reparations for its invasion of Kuwait.161 In 2008, Italy agreed to pay Libya $5 billion as compensation for its 30-year occupation of the country, which ended in 1943.162 Most recently Britain has had to pay reparations in the sum of £19.9 million to the Mau Mau Kenya for torturing these people during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.163 It is therefore clear that the concept of reparations is firmly established and actively pursued by states, on behalf of their injured nationals, against other wrongdoing states.164 Furthermore, the entire body of tort law is based on the understanding that those who suffer wrongs should be compensated and that political expediency and moral doubt out not to preclude the onward march of justice and its conclusion in a fair settlement.165 However, though there was money for slave-owners, the enslaved people freed in the 1830s when Britain ended slavery received nothing from the government in compensation for generations of forced labor,166 and up to this day is yet to receive even an apology from these European countries. This was the greatest crime committed by the British state against the African people.167 As news of CARICOM’s reparations desires began circulating, a certain uneasiness crept into the minds of even those with some basic legal knowledge. This uneasiness concerned the fact that all the victims of slavery or native genocide must have perished by now. So how was CARICOM going to overcome the hurdle of establishing itself as the claimant in this lawsuit on behalf of citizens of its Member States? These citizens are the descendants of the victims of these atrocities. However, international law does not recognize any legal barrier to prevent those who still suffer the consequences of crimes against humanity from claiming reparations, even though the crimes were committed against their ancestors.168 Whether the descendants of the immediate victims of a crime have a right to reparations, will depend on the nature of the claim being made. The Austrian payment, for example, was to survivors of the concentration camps, again to make reparation for the physical and mental agony of the concentration camps. If a victim died before the claim was agreed, his claim died with him, since the pain and                                                          161 United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 of 3rd April 1991 provides that “Iraq...is liable under international law for any direct loss, damage, including environmental damage and the depletion of natural resources, or injury to foreign Governments, nationals and corporations, as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait”. See UN Compensation Commission. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.uncc.ch/introduc.htm> Accessed on December 20, 2013. 162 The New York Times: Italy agree to pay Libya $5 billion [Internet] Available from: < http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/world/europe/31iht-italy.4.15774385.html?r=0>Accessed on December 20, 2013.  163 The Voice: UK Government Blocks Caribbean Reparations Bid [Internet] Available from: < http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/uk-government-blocks-caribbean-reparations-bid> Accessed on Friday October 18th 2013. 164 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013. 165 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 23  166 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 159 167 Beckles, H. McD (2013) Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide, Jamaica: University of West Indies Press p. 159 168 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013.
  • 25.   25  suffering were personal to him. For instance, the Order made under the British Foreign Compensation Act of 1950 provided that the Foreign Compensation Commission was to treat as established any claim relating to certain property in Egypt which had been sequestrated by Nasser’s government if the applicant was the owner “or is the successor in title of such owner”, making it plain that the children and the grandchildren of the original dispossessed owners were entitled to claim. Since the unification of Germany, the sons and daughters of property owners, whose lands were seized after the German Democratic Republic was created, have pursued claims successfully. No one doubts their right to claim, even though they may have been children, or even unborn, when their family’s land were taken over. Claims have been made not only by descendants, but by the nation state which has had to bear the burden of paying for the consequences of the crime. As stated above, Israel successfully claimed reparations from West Germany for the costs of resettling Jewish refugees–even though the state of Israel did not yet exist at the time when the Nazi regime committed its crimes against the Jews. It is also significant that West Germany, which felt obliged to meet the claim, was also a different state, territorially as well as politically, from the German Reich which was responsible for the atrocities.169 If international law harbors this level of ingenuity and creativity, to allow a state, which was not, created at the time an atrocity was committed to successfully claim against another state whose frontiers were fundamentally different at the time the atrocities were committed; then it should not take any feat of genius to allow an IO that is representative of the interest of its Members States to bring claims against states who are more or less the same today as when these atrocities were committed. In principle, therefore, the passage of time since slavery ended should be no barrier to CARICOM’s claim provided that it can be established that the consequences of the crimes of slavery and native genocide continue to manifest themselves to the prejudice of Caribbean people living in the Caribbean today and the Diaspora. On this point, the evidence of historical experts is clear and unequivocal. CARICOM’s reparations agenda should be directed against the governments of those countries, which promoted and were enriched by the slave trade and the institution of slavery. While this IO has done just that, in seeking reparations from Britain, France in relation to Haiti and the Netherlands in relation to Suriname, it is the author’s opinion that Spain should be included for its role in the decimation of the native population of Jamaica. Moreover, here it is more appropriate to concentrate on the Governments o the countries, which encouraged and supported the slave trade, which legitimized the institution of slavery, and which has profited as a result. While it would be possible to identify individual companies which could be proved to have made vast profits from slavery, and there are plantation owners in Jamaica, and titled families in England, whose living heirs owe their wealth to slaving, should these individuals be pursued, the process would inevitably be somewhat arbitrary, and potentially oppressive, and it would be rejected both by the targeted individuals themselves and their governments as these defendants had not perpetrated any wrongs. In the author’s opinion, the reasons why the ‘Defendants’ to the reparation claim should be governments, are that it is governments which have                                                          169 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013.
  • 26.   26  some measure of control over their national wealth, through their reserves and their taxation powers; it is governments who must in the end be persuaded that reparations are to be paid as a matter of justice; it is governments who can determine whether the debt burden of CARICOM Member States should be forgiven; and it is governments which are responsible for making international treaties and implementing them through the passage of laws. VII. CONCLUDING REMARKS The forgoing has considered the legitimacy of CARICOM’s reparations claim. It has considered the atrocities of native genocide of the region’s native peoples and slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, which have both been summed up as crimes against humanity. It has considered the consequences of these atrocities on the Caribbean region today, revealing that the poor economic performance of most CARICOM Member States is a direct consequence of the economic exploitation of these territories during the colonial era. It has considered the origin and evolution of CARICOM, which emerged in an effort to foster a greater degree of integration among these islands. The debate focused on the ten-point plan in CARICOM’s claim for reparations as set out by CARICOM’s legal representatives. It then focuses on the legal claim for reparations. Presenting evidence from both sides of the divide reveals that like most areas of international relations, considerations of this claim differ significantly. Notwithstanding this, it is the author’s opinion, for the reasons aforementioned, that these 14 Member States have a valid legal claim against these three European countries and CARICOM is the ideal medium for bringing this claim for reparations. What is less clear is whether IOs such as CARICOM, may pursue such claims on behalf of their Member States. Representative of the welfare of its Member States, not only is CARICOM’s Conference of the Heads of Government endowed with the power, by virtue of Article 12 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas 2001 to bring this reparations claim; it is also the best means of bringing a claim on behalf of 14 countries, which span three different languages in terms of unity, organization, cost-effectiveness and political influence. Moreover, as previously stated, international law has never been static. New structures have often been devised to give effect to recognized principles. So, notwithstanding the unique, massive and multi-faceted nature of the claim, and the fact that creative and imaginative international jurists will be needed; once the claim is well-founded in legal principle, and well-recognized by the international community, remedies and mechanisms will be found.170 If successful, this claim will mark a major milestone in the fight for a true racially equal world. It will go a long way in putting to rest the claim of black people that the world is biased against their interests, and foster greater concern for minority indigenous populations worldwide. Native genocide of the Caribbean’s native peoples and slavery both constituted two to the vilest crimes against humanity. In relation to the genocide of the Caribbean’s native peoples, it has been said that this constitutes an attrition of population in real numbers every bit as great as the toll of twelve to fifteen million about half of them                                                          170 Anthony Gifford, “The Legal Basis of the Claims for Reparations”. [Internet] Available from:<http://www.shaka.mistral.co.uk/legalbasis.htm>Accessed on November 29th, 2013.
  • 27.   27  Jewish most commonly attributed to Himmler's slaughter mills.171 The proportion of indigenous Caribbean population destroyed by early European settlers in a single generation is, no matter how the figures are twisted, far greater than the seventy- five percent of European Jews said to have been exterminated by the Nazis.172 One issue of contention remains, however, namely in considering the issue of Native Genocide, Spanish colonizers was the pioneers of this inhumane practice. While it may be said that no country formally colonized by Spain is a CARICOM Member State, the Spanish were responsible for the decline of the native Taino population in Jamaica. Therefore, it seems illogical to not include a key pioneer of both of these inhumane practices in this reparations bid.                                                            171 Ward Churchill, “Columbus and the Beginning of Genocide in the “New World””. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html >Accessed on November 29th, 2013 172 Ward Churchill, “Columbus and the Beginning of Genocide in the “New World””. [Internet] Available from:< http://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v9/9.11/1columbus.html >Accessed on November 29th, 2013