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, former 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, former 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.
In this new extracurricular activity, guest speakers involved in transitional justice (TJ) processes at the local level share with students their experiences in setting up, running, working, or resisting various TJ mechanisms and processes.
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights (LLM) and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) spent a week in the Balkans – Belgrade, Sarajevo and Srebrenica – where they met experts and institutions who work in the fields of IHL, human rights and transitional justice.
Dustan Woodhouse, Unplash
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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.
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.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.