Successful First Transitional Justice Spring School

2017 Transitional Spring School: group photo of all participants in front of the Villa Moynier 2017 Transitional Spring School: group photo of all participants in front of the Villa Moynier

11 April 2017

During one week, from 3 to 7 April 2017, the 33 participants in the first Transitional Justice Spring School discussed the roles of culture and memory in transitional justice contexts, a relatively unexplored field of transitional justice.

‘The goal of this spring school was to broaden the perspective. Transitional justice is often associated only with trials and truth-commissions. Memory and culture play however a significant role in dealing with a violent past and show ways to prevent their recurrence. The spring school was aimed to provide a platform to hear these other stories’ underlines Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) at the Geneva Academy.

Transitional Justice Spring School Opening Lecture

Students of our MTJ, students from the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg and external participants discussed with leading experts and practitioners the roles that culture as ‘memory work’ plays in contexts of transitional justice, whether cultural initiatives - public memorials, theatre performances, film screenings and photo exhibitions - ‘work’ as avenues for coming to terms with the past and preventing future atrocities, the role of education and history in processes of social transformation, whether there is a duty to preserve memory, and the potential contribution of archives in this respect.

Highlights

Highlights during the week include the opening by prominent speakers such as Mô Bleeker, the Swiss Special Envoy on Dealing with the Past and Atrocity Prevention and Professor Christoph Safferling from the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg. Professor Nancy Adler from the University of Amsterdam gave the closing lecture with an incredible insight on the question of processes that deal with the Soviet past. Throughout the week, leading lecturers, including Regula Ludi, Clara Ramírez-Barat, Elisabeth Baumgartner, Raphael Jakob, Pierre Hazan and Merilin Piipuu shared with participants their views regarding the role of culture, memory, archives and memorialization in transitional justice processes.

Transitional Justice Spring School OHCHR Visit

Beside the lectures in the morning, participants also had the opportunity to conduct on-sight visits to organizations in Geneva - the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the archives of the League of Nations at the Palais des Nations - and in this respect could engage directly with practitioners and their work.

Visit League of nations Archives

An Inter-Disciplinary Approach

‘The spring school took an inter-disciplinary approach and included experts from various backgrounds, such as anthropology, history, law, journalism and political science. This allowed participants to grasp with different dimensions of dealing with the past’ stresses Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ at the Geneva Academy.

Cultural Events

Participants also had the opportunity to assist to cultural events through the screening of the film ‘impunity’, directed by Juan Lozano, which looks at transitional justice processes in Colombia and a cultural performance of the theatre of transformation organized by Rama Mani.

Cultural performance Rama Mani

About the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law

The Transitional Justice Spring School is a special one-week course that discusses cutting-edge issues in transitional justice.

It forms part of the MTJ, 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 in Europe, it focuses on an expanding field where there is a strong need for well-trained professionals.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Portrait of Marco Sassòli News

Professor Marco Sassòli Steps in as New Director of the Geneva Academy

3 September 2018

Professor Marco Sassòli has been appointed as the new Director of the Geneva Academy. He takes up this role following the retirement of Professor Robert Roth.

Read more

Portrait of Rabaa Husain Makie Al-Juma News

Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict: What Participants Say

17 June 2019

Rabaa Husain Makie Al-Juma is the Chief Editor and CEO of the Bariq Al Dana magazine, a member of the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) and of its Gender Council, a board member of the Kuwait Journalist Association, and a consultant for the International Kuwait Educational Company.

Read more

A hand touches the fences of a jail IHL Talks

Foreign Fighters and their Relatives (allegedly) affiliated with ISIS and Detained in Northeast Syria

12 July 2019, 12:15-14:00

This IHL Talk will address the humanitarian, policy and legal challenges related to the fate of foreign fighters and their relatives (allegedly) affiliated with ISIS and who are currently detained by the SDF in northeast Syria

Read more

 Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. 22 June 1990 Event

Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture

18 July 2019, 18:00-19:30

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, will reflect on the current human rights challenges and how to move the human rights agenda forward.

Read more

UN Peacekeepers on Patrol in Abyei, Sudan Project

Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Completed in January 2005

This research project aimed to clarify the multiple facets of post-conflict peacebuilding.

Read more

U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper, after the presentation of the report to the Human Rights Council September 27 by independent experts: Mr. Pablo de Greiff, Mr. Christof Heyns, Ms. Maya Sahli-Fadel. Project

Support to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence

Completed in January 2012

From 2012 to 2015 the Geneva Academy hosted the Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff.

Read more