New Master in Transitional Justice: A Dynamic Start

Students of the Master in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law during a class Students of the Master in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law during a class

19 December 2016

Since September, the Geneva Academy has been running its new Master of Advance Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. As the first term of the programme comes to a close, we would like to give you a brief update.

This year, we have 27 students from a variety of backgrounds and countries, many of which with a recent history of political oppression or armed conflict. Their different perspectives and experiences greatly enrich the programme and contribute to a dynamic and intimate learning environment.

We are fortunate to count on a vibrant student community, engaged in a variety of activities and projects. Very quickly, our students have grown into a dynamic group with a rich social life, within and outside the academic curriculum. They regularly organize, for instance, platforms of discussion where they present the transitional justice contexts they have lived and worked in and the challenges they encountered.

During this first term, our students explored a wide range of topics and issues relevant to transitional justice. In addition to providing an essential introduction to the relevant legal, ethical and conceptual frameworks of the field, the lectures covered a variety of perspectives and approaches – including international human rights law, transformative justice and development, economic, social and cultural rights, armed conflict and peace-building, and international criminal law.

Throughout the first term, we’ve put much emphasis on creating connections between theory and practice. The clinical work, in particular, provided a platform for developing bridges between theoretical knowledge and practical ‘real-world’ perspectives. Leading practitioners in the field have been regularly invited to share their expertise and experiences with students. This included an extremely inspiring exchange with leading scholar Professor Fionnuala Ni Aolain on her experience of the Northern Ireland conflict.

During the spring term, our students will participate in research internships organized in collaboration with leading organizations and agencies in the field of transitional justice like the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Redress. They will also go on a three-days study trip to Nuremberg, which will include a visit to site of the Nuremberg trial.

This time of the year is also when we open applications to the 2017-2018 programme, which will start in September 2017. We very much look forward to receiving applications from highly qualified and committed candidates! A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available.

Best wishes,

Thomas Unger and Frank Haldemann, Co-Directors of the Geneva Academy Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law

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