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Student Publications

(2020) "Achieving Post-Conflict Justice through Strategic Litigation and Reparations: The Sepur Zarco Trial." The Monitor: Journal of International Studies 26(1): 24–34.

Author: Zoha Siddiqui

This article analyzes the landmark Sepur Zarco trial in Guatemala – the first successful prosecution of sexual violence perpetrated during the genocide and the first time that a domestic court adjudicated on a case of domestic and sexual slavery. Despite being conducted in a judicially and politically unfavorable climate for human rights work, the prosecution’s method of strategic litigation resulted in a guilty verdict from Judge Yassmin Barrios and an expansive reparations order. The Sepur Zarco trial serves as an emblematic memory of sexual violence during the Guatemalan genocide and highlights the importance of positioning women at the forefront of transitional justice and democratization efforts.

(2020) "Adequate, Effective, and Prompt: Analyzing the Right to Reparations in Transitional Justice." Georgetown University Undergraduate Law Review 5(1): 1–13.


Author: Alexandra Byrne

The right to reparations is clearly defined in international law as a human right, though no framework and little precedent exists to guide reparations programs and ensure their implementation. This paper argues that the right to reparations is a customary norm of international law and should be fulfilled with the same haste and adequacy of other customary norms. I compile a formula for reparations implementation based on three case studies of past reparations programs. This formula consists of lost income, lost assets, and costs of medical, legal, and psychological services. Finally, I develop a time frame for reparations implementation by region based on household wealth and yearly expenditure. Based on these findings, I make several recommendations as to how governments should proceed when establishing reparations programs that comply with international law and the basic principles of human rights.​

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