The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary

Cover page of the book Cover page of the book

27 March 2018

A new book, edited by the two Co-Directors of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Frank Haldemann and Thomas Unger, provides an unmatched analysis of the United Nations Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity (UN Principles to Combat Impunity).

While widely recognized as an authoritative reference point for the fight against impunity, the UN Principles to Combat Impunity have so far not received a systematic analysis. The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary fills this gap.

‘With the other commentary published by OUP on the 1949 Geneva Conventions, we have now two major commentaries realized under the auspices of the Geneva Academy that cover international humanitarian law and transitional justice, which are the main focus of our three master’s programmes’ underlines Robert Roth, Director of the Geneva academy.

Addressing the Various Dimensions of Transitional Justice and the Fight Against Impunity

Gathering more than 36 scholars and practitioners, the book engages in detail with the various dimensions of the fight against impunity and transitional justice.

‘This commentary provides a detailed principle-by-principle analysis in light of relevant literature and practice, as well as a critical mapping of the field’ underlines Frank Haldemann. ‘As such, it will be of real interest for those seeking to grasp with current issues, challenges and gaps in transitional justice and the fight against impunity’ he adds.

‘The commentary engages with central aspects of transitional justice and the fight against impunity as addressed by the UN Principles to Combat Impunity, including criminal justice, truth commissions, institutional reform and reparations. It touches on issues of victim participation, gender-justice, and the question of amnesties and prevention of mass crimes’ stresses Thomas Unger.

Key Contributions by Geneva Academy Professors, Staff and Alumni

Besides, the two editors, several Geneva Academy professors, staff and alumni contributed to this volume, including Valentina Cadelo (editorial assistant and co-author of the commentaries on Principles 14, 15 and 17), Professor Paola Gaeta (author of the commentary on Principle 21), Professor Robert Roth (author of the commentary on Principle 26), Professor William A. Schabas (author of the commentary on Principle 20), Dr Sandra Krähenmann (author of the definitional part), Ilya Nuzov (co-author of the commentaries on Principles 6 and 7) and Ilia Maria Siatitsa (co-author of the commentary on Principle 25).

About the UN Principles to Combat Impunity

Updated in 2005, the UN Principles to Combat Impunity are the fruit of several years of study, developed under the aegis of the UN Commission on Human Rights and then affirmed by the Human Rights Council.

These Principles are today widely accepted as constituting an authoritative reference point for efforts in the fight against impunity for gross human rights abuses and serious violations of international humanitarian law.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

The 2018-2019 MTJ Class News

Moving with Confidence into the Third Year…

17 December 2018

An update by the Co-Directors of our Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Frank Haldemann and Thomas Unger on the programme and 2018 class.

Read more

Students of the MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law during the Transitional Justice in Practoce course News

Students Address the Role of Transitional Justice during Conflicts or Early Post-Conflict Situations

10 January 2019

During one semester, as part of the course on transitional justice in practice, students of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law formulated policies to tackle one of the most challenging questions in transitional justice (TJ) work today: the role of TJ during conflict or early post-conflict situations.

Read more

Tractor at work in a field (Mombaldone, Piemonte, NW Italy) Event

Public Conference: Peasants' Rights in Europe

30 September 2019, 13:30-17:00

This public conference will discuss the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants in Europe and its contribution to the SDGs and the UN Decade of Family Farming.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

30 September - 4 October 2019

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

ICC Trial Chamber VIII declares Mr Al Mahdi guilty of the war crime of attacking historic and religious buildings in Timbuktu and sentences him to nine years’ imprisonment Project

Modes of Liability for International Crimes

Started in January 2015

This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.

Read more

A participant to a Geneva Academy event takes note on a computer Project

The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age

Completed in January 2014

The digital age offers unique opportunities to strengthen human rights implementation and monitoring and has transformed the means through which human rights are exercised. Equally, the digital age poses unique challenges in ensuring that states and businesses respect and protect our rights in the digital forum. The full extent of the human rights implications of the digital age remain unknown.

Read more