Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
27 March 2018
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.
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.
In this public lecture, Professor Philip Sands explained – on the basis of his research on two prominent founders of contemporary international law (Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin) and his own family’s experience – how international law has developed by protecting at the same time the individual (according to Lauterpacht's vision) and the group, with the success of Lemkin's endeavour towards a convention on the prevention and prohibition of genocide.
This event, co-organized with the ATLAS Network will feature prominent women in international law. Coming from different professional backgrounds, they will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
This short course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Truth Commissions are by now an integral part of the transitional justice vocabulary and practice. This short course will provide a comprehensive, multidimensional and practical examination of this transitional justice mechanism, shedding light on both its aims and the practical challenges it has met or is likely to meet.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.