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.


Photo of an art installation: The installation is made up of robots with eyes. When a user begins to interact with their smartphone, one of the robot eyes opens and begins looking around the room. When the interaction is over, the eye closes again. News

New Models of Governance Must Address the Human Rights Challenges Raised by Artificial Intelligence

2 March 2020

Our New Research Brief Human Rights and the Governance of Artificial Intelligence discusses the opportunities and risks that AI represents for human rights, recalls that international human rights law should occupy a central place in the governance of AI and outlines two additional avenues to regulation: public procurement and standardization.

Read more

View of Villa Moynier News

The Geneva Academy Gradually Reopens its Doors

9 June 2020

Following the easing of lockdown measures announced by the Swiss Federal Council, the Geneva Academy will gradually reopen its doors from Monday, 8 June.

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

16 April - 21 May 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, 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.

Read more

Al Mahdi case: ICC Trial Chamber VIII issues reparations order, 17 August 2017 Short Course

International Criminal Law: General Principles and International Crimes

12 November - 11 December 2020

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.

Read more

Inside an IBM Cloud Data Center Project

Human Rights in the Digital Age

Completed in September 2017

This research project examined the impact of innovation and the development of new information technologies on human rights.

Read more

Sign: National Human Rights Commission of Nepal Project

Local Implementation of Global Human Rights

Started in May 2020

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.

Read more

Cover page of the manual Publication

#ESCR AND #SDGs: Practical Manual on the Role of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Monitoring the SDGs that Seek to Realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

published on July 2020

Christophe Golay

Read more