A Summer to Look at Key Transitional Justice Issues

Student taking notes Student taking notes

10 September 2019

Students of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) worked throughout the summer on their master’s paper, in which they addressed specific transitional justice topics.

They submitted their papers in August and will receive their grades by mid-September.

A Key Part of the Programme

The MTJ promotes academic excellence and independent critical thinking. One of its core outputs is a master’s paper on a specific topic related to transitional justice, written under the guidance of a Faculty member.

‘This gives students an opportunity to investigate a subject of special interest to them, develop their own critical thinking, and deepen their expertise through research and exchanges with experts’ stresses Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.

Looking at Specific County Situations

‘This year, many students addressed specific transitional justice issues in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Kenya, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Syria, South Africa, Uganda or the United States. This reflects the diversity of our students and their interest in linking theoretical concepts and debates to practical problems and situations’ explains Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ.

‘We’re pleased to see that many of our students apply the concepts learned in class to specific situations: they are now well equipped to move to the field to address transitional justice issues’ stresses Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the MTJ.

Addressing Contemporary Transitional Justice Challenges

Besides the country-specific angles, papers also discussed contemporary challenges such as whether and how transitional justice mechanisms are equipped to address colonial injustices; transitional justice and the rights of minorities and indigenous people, gender and transitional justice; the contribution of transitional justice to conflict prevention and peacebuilding; housing, land and property rights (HLP) and transitional justice; or transitional justice and political economy.

‘These are key transitional justice topics that many of our students will have to address in their future professional life, be it in the field or in academia’ explains Thomas Unger.


Awarded every year during the Graduation Ceremony, one student receives the Best MTJ Paper for a paper of exceptional academic quality.


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