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.
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.
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).
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.
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 interview, Anthoula Bourolias, currently enrolled in the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ), tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
ILO/ Thierry Falise
In this panel discussion, representatives from states, businesses and civil society will share their views and responses on the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights’ Gender Framework and Guidance.
This event marks the launch in Geneva of the new book by Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, UN Independent Expert on Debt and Human Rights, which discusses the responsibility of Pinochet’s economic accomplices.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
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.
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.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.