Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
During one week, from 19 to 23 March, the 41 participants in the 2018 Transitional Justice Spring School discussed the roles that memory, culture and history play in dealing with a violent past and in preventing recurrence of atrocities.
Practitioners, scholars, experts and students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines addressed this relatively unexplored field of transitional justice via an interdisciplinary programme. They discussed key questions such as the role of culture and memorialization in transitional justice processes, namely in Germany and the Balkans; the role of culture in transforming societies after political violence; the role of archives in preserving memory; or legal questions related to the access to archives.
‘Our Spring School precisely aims at addressing new and emerging issues in transitional justice and at broadening the perspective by looking beyond conventional transitional justice approaches and mechanisms such as trials or truth-commissions’ stresses Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. ‘I was really impressed by the level of discussions and exchanges which highlighted challenges, lessons learned and innovative approaches in relation to the roles of memory, history, archives and culture in transitional justice’.
Besides lectures by leading scholars and practitioners, the programme also included on-site visits at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the League of Nations Archives, as well as participation in a discussion with the United Nations Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff on the contribution of transitional justice to the prevention of mass atrocities.
‘These visits allow participants to see how institutions address the issues of archives, dealing with the past, memory and history in their daily work’ underlines Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. ‘What we discuss at the Transitional Justice Spring School are not abstract concepts but very concrete issues that organizations and individuals involved in post-conflict or post-authoritarian contexts have to address’ he adds.
The Transitional Justice Spring School is a special one-week course that discusses cutting-edge issues in transitional justice.
It forms part of the Geneva Academy Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law – a unique and innovative programme that combines high-level academic education and real-world practice in the field of transitional justice. One of the very few courses on this subject, it focuses on the fundamentals but also new dimensions of a rapidly expanding field where there is a strong need for well-trained professionals.
Next Friday, at the Palais des Nations, more than 60 participants – academics, experts, states’ representatives and representatives of non-governmental organizations and social movements – will gather to discuss the right to food sovereignty and other collective rights in the context of the current negotiation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
Yuval Shany is the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also teaches human rights in the Geneva Academy’s LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
This public conference provides an opportunity to discuss the contributions of UN human rights mechanisms to the monitoring of the SDGs that seek to realize ESCR and their collaboration with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.&am
UN Photo/Stuart Price
This project aims at mapping various existing accountability mechanisms, in the context of military interventions, through the lens of the requirements of a transitional justice process in order to identify possibilities and gaps.
As a comprehensive attempt to ‘codify’ universal accountability norms, the UN Principles marked a significant step forward in the debate on the obligation of states to combat impunity in its various forms. Despite this significance, no comprehensive academic commentary of the 38 principles has yet been provided so far. This project seeks to fill this gap.