7 December 2020
Andrew Songa graduated from our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) back in 2019.
He currently serves as the Delegate to the African Union for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). In this role, he is responsible for strengthening advocacy actions of FIDH and its member organizations towards the African Union (AU) by advising on FIDH’s advocacy strategy and organizing missions to the AU; representing FIDH at AU-organized meetings, and developing advocacy materials aimed at AU mandate holders and member States. One of the key themes he is involved in is the fight against impunity, which involves work towards furthering the implementation of the AU Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP).
The programme creates a vibrant learning environment through a diverse student body with students from different parts of the world and possessing different skill sets such as law, political science, environmental studies and even computer science. The teaching faculty is equally diverse and consists of leading and eminent scholars who ensure a multidisciplinary approach to learning about transitional justice.
I enjoyed the fusion of theoretical and practical approaches to the teaching which allowed us as students to debate the concepts among ourselves while also engaging the course instructors in highly interactive sessions to explore the bounds of the concepts we were exposed to. There were also guest instructors who we were fortunate to engage with such as Pablo De Greiff. These interactions were essential in situating what we were learning into contemporary contexts. They also allowed us to gain insight into some of the deliberations that went into forming key normative texts of transitional justice.
The visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial as part of our MTJ study trip which brought into stark reality what I had read of the holocaust; and a guest lecture by Albie Sachs where he tapped into his experiences of fighting Apartheid and drafting the Freedom Charter.
The programme provided me with an opportunity to step back, consolidate and reflect on my past experiences in a way that I was not able to do while actively working. The result was a greater appreciation for how different disciplines and tactical approaches can be utilised to advance justice. I emerged from the programme as a strong advocate for transformative transitional justice.
Definitely. What I learned informs my current approach to policy analysis and has enabled me to identify linkages between transitional justice and contemporary issues such as climate change, illicit financial flows and interrogating the universality of human rights.
I would strongly recommend it to those interested in engaging the new frontiers of justice debates and engaging with some of the leading scholars and practitioners in the field of transitional justice.
Ezequiel Heffes works as a Thematic Legal Adviser at Geneva Call, a humanitarian NGO that engages armed non-State actors to increase their level of compliance with humanitarian norms. In this interview, he tells about the programme and what it brought to his career.
In this interview, Dasha Reddy, currently enrolled in our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, reviews the origins of international criminal law, its relationship with the international legal order including the UN Security Council and its coexistence with national justice institutions. The scope of international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – is considered alongside initiatives to expand or add to these categories.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides participants with a solid understanding of the existing pluralistic system of international accountability for international crimes and of its main challenges.