The harm caused by transatlantic chattel slavery is vast, and its repercussions continue to resonate in the lives of the descendants of the enslaved. Scholars have long worked to document, study, and quantify these harms.
In May 2021, The American Society of International Law (ASIL), in partnership with The University of the West Indies, hosted its first symposium on Reparations Under International Law for Enslavement of African Persons in the Americas and the Caribbean. Convened by Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice, symposium participants discussed the illegality of transatlantic chattel slavery under international law at the time it was perpetrated, and examined the historical context and contemporary legacy of transatlantic chattel slavery.
A second symposium took place in February 2023, focused on the calculation of reparations owed for the violations of international law arising from and caused by transatlantic chattel slavery. For this second symposium, members of ASIL engaged experts from The Brattle Group to build an economic framework to help calculate reparations for the violations of international law regarding transatlantic chattel slavery. Following the second symposium, a paper containing Brattle’s analysis was presented, along with introductory remarks by Judge Patrick Robinson, at an event held at The University of the West Indies on June 8, 2023.