This article examines the negotiations that led to the incorporation of reparations provisions into the legal framework of the International Criminal Court (icc). Building upon a review of the travaux préparatoires and interviews, it traces the actors and main debates during the lead-up to the Rome Conference and the drafting of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, explaining how and why reparations were included into the Rome Statute. In doing so, the article shows how the reparations mandate was produced at the intersection of a set of different agendas and actors. From this account, it identifies a number of key themes that were at the centre of the negotiations and often galvanised contestations among delegations or with ngos. The article concludes with a fresh perspective on the origin of victim reparations in the Rome Statute and its relevance for understanding many of today's debates around reparations in international criminal justice.