A top International Criminal Court judge has reminded the United Kingdom that, it cannot dissociate itself from paying slavery reparations.
According to Judge Patrick Robinson, in this current dispensation, there has been paradigm shift with regards to calls for slavery reparations, which have garnered massive support globally.
“They cannot continue to ignore the greatest atrocity, signifying man’s inhumanity to man. They cannot continue to ignore it. Reparations have been paid for other wrongs and obviously far more quickly, far more speedily than reparations for what I consider the greatest atrocity and crime in the history of mankind: transatlantic chattel slavery.”
“I believe that the United Kingdom will not be able to resist this movement towards the payment of reparations: it is required by history and it is required by law.”Patrick Robinson, International Criminal Court Judge.
Judge Robinson made these statements prior to tomorrow’s commemoration of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Abolition. Robinson is slated to deliver a keynote address at the occasion in London.
With growing international pressure on issues of slavery, Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister, in April, declined to apologize or resolved to make amends for the UK’s involvement in the slave trade.
Responding to Sunak’s gesture, Judge Patrick Robinson stated that, “I have the highest regard for the prime minister of the United Kingdom, but I believe the stance that he has taken is regrettable and I very much hope that he will reconsider it.”
“The tide is changing, the political tide, the global tide is moving. The United Kingdom including both principle parties, the Conservative party and the Labour party and the other parties, which are just as important need to take into account that movement is a movement in favor of reparations.
“The transatlantic chattel slavery is the greatest atrocity in the history of humankind without parallel for its brutality, without parallel for its length over 400 years, without parallel for its profitability.”Patrick Robinson, International Criminal Court Judge.
Judge Patrick Robinson is known to have contributed enormously to the writing and compilation of the Brattle Groups’ Report on Reparations for Transatlantic Chattel Slavery. The report focused on slavery reparations owed to about 31 countries, that suffered from the transatlantic slave trade.
According to analysis of the group’s report, countries affected by slavery, are due trillions of dollars in compensation.
The report insisted that, the United Kingdom alone must fetch out £18.8 trillion in reparations for transatlantic slavery in 14 countries. Of that amount, Jamaica is owed around $9.6 trillion.
Additionally, according to former Jamaican Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, though Jamaica and other affected nations are due the reparations, he would not neglect the chances of testing the waters in the court of law.
When queried on achieving reparation via the justice system, Robinson said that, “It’s possible, but frankly, I think the greater probability is for a settlement on a political diplomatic basis, which takes into account the relevant legal considerations. But I don’t rule out court proceedings.”
Furthermore, addressing concerns that, the figures might be outrageous, Robinson revealed that, the analysis focused on the entire duration of slave trade.
“These calculations are not over a period of five years or 10 years. They cover the entire duration of transatlantic chattel slavery, which means they cover hundreds of years.
“What is more, reparations have never been paid. So the calculations begin from day one of transatlantic chattel slavery, that is hundreds of years; and that alone explains the high figures.”Patrick Robinson, International Criminal Court Judge.
Moreover, Robinson added that, they understood the amount cannot be paid at once, so countries at fault of the report can spread the payment of reparations from 10 to 25 years.