September 2017 - August 2018
Application start 15 November 2016
Application end 12 March 2017
Application end (with scholarship) 30 January 2017
Module 1 - The Legal, Ethical and Conceptual Frameworks of Transitional Justice / Module 2 - Human Rights in Transitional Contexts / Module 3 - Institutional Reform and the Rule of Law / Module 4 - Transitional Justice, Development and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights / Module 5 - Criminal Justice and the Fight against Impunity
At first glance, there seems to be a fundamental contradiction between constitution-making and transitional justice. While constitutions are made to last, transitional justice is deemed to end as quickly as possible. Yet, in many cases, a closer look reveals a surprising closeness between the two concepts. Constitutions may be written for eternity, however their life is punctuated by steps and phases that are intrinsically linked to the moment. At times, justice can only be transitional, yet it always aspires to transcend its limits.
This contradiction stands at the heart of this course’s objective: to decipher and understand transitional elements in various constitutional sets and settings. We start with a series of classical but still basic concepts, recall the duality of state and civil society and its implications for the constitution, analyze the schemes and modes of constitution-making and end by focusing on three contemporary challenges: West Africa, Cyprus and South Sudan.
What is the meaning of the ‘rule of law’ in the international arena? How can it be rebuilt in the aftermath of armed conflict or authoritarianism? What forms of institutional reform are required to restore the rule of law, and what measures can prevent the recurrence of lawless and arbitrary rule? How can previously abusive institutions, such as the police and the military, be reformed? What actions should be taken with respect to perpetrators? This introductory course explores the international dimension of the rule of law and its promotion in transitional contexts, focusing on institutional reform and guarantees of non-recurrence. The course also looks at the role of the international community and civil society in rule-of-law reform.