September 2018 - August 2019
Application start 20 November 2017
Application end 28 February 2018
Application end (with scholarship) 31 January 2018
Module 1 - The Legal, Ethical and Conceptual Frameworks of Transitional Justice / Module 2 - Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Transitional Contexts / Module 3 - Institutional Reform and the Rule of Law / Module 4 - Transformative Justice, Development and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights / Module 5 - Criminal Justice / Optional Courses
This course introduces the issue of criminal justice, its theory and its function in transitional contexts. It addresses the functioning of such a mechanism of justice in the aftermath of situations of extreme violence, as well as its usefulness and necessity when it comes to achieving democracy and peace. Such questioning involves a presentation of international criminal justice both from a historical and practical perspective: its origin and development, its forms, its challenges, its potential and limitations. A selection of paradigmatic national responses, as alternatives to (international) criminal justice, are also presented. The course illustrates the fact that criminal justice, in all its forms, is only one of several mechanisms of transitional justice. It is neither perfect nor sufficient per se for a long-term (re)construction of a post-conflict society.
International criminal justice is an important component of transitional justice. It involves the identification of individual perpetrators and their punishment, generally by significant periods of detention. Yet, some important experiments in transitional justice, like that of post-apartheid South Africa, have chosen to forego criminal justice. Difficulties and tensions may arise where international law and international courts and tribunals impose requirements on transitional justice, which is largely administered at the national level. This course provides an introduction to the major themes of international criminal justice from the perspective of transitional justice. It provides an overview of past and current international criminal tribunals including the International Criminal Court; a review of the international crimes that form the subject matter of international criminal law; an examination of the function of international criminal justice within the practice of transitional justice, including the competing objectives of accountability, peace and truth-seeking; the availability, legitimacy and legality of amnesty and similar measures, and issues in the relationship between bodies such as truth and reconciliation commissions and criminal prosecution measures.