Transitional Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights

Cover page of Briefing No 10: Transitional Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights Cover page of Briefing No 10: Transitional Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights

Our new publication Transitional Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights systematically reviews and critically discusses the evolving ‘transitional’ jurisprudence of Europe’s main guardian of human rights – the Court in Strasbourg – across highly contentious issues such as amnesty, property rights, along with institutional reform and vetting.

Published in cooperation with the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University and written by one of the field’s leading scholars, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, it addresses head-on a crucial – yet so far neglected – topic: the question of the relation between transitional justice and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Filling a Research Gap

While the ECHR system as one of the world’s leading human rights regimes has been the subject of intense study, its role in promoting transitional justice concerns has received surprisingly little scholarly attention – a neglect that is all the more striking when one considers the considerable amount of scholarly work that has been dedicated to the Inter-American human rights system and its impact on transitional processes in the Americas.

‘Our hope is that this publication will generate, both inside and outside academia, a much-needed debate about the ECHR and its role in transitional contexts‘ underlines Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the Master in Transitional Justice at the Geneva Academy.

Setting Standards for Overseeing Transitions to Peace and Democracy

‘This publication highlights that we can profitably think of the ECHR system as a ‘transitional instrument’ positively shaping political transitions and conflict resolutions on the European continent’ underlines Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the Master in Transitional Justice at the Geneva Academy.

While the Strasbourg Court has played – and continues to play – an under-appreciated role in setting standards for and overseeing transitions to peace and democracy in places as varied as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Turkey and Russia, the publication warns against self-complacency and insists on the need to constantly rethink the Convention in the face of ever-expanding challenges.

‘The Convention is a tool giving concrete language to human rights claims in the domestic sphere, but one that needs adjustment and creative expansion if it is to come to meet the expectations that have been set for it’ stresses the author.

European Convention on Human Rights

About the Author

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin holds the Dorsey and Whitney Chair in Law at University of Minnesota Law School and is Professor of Law at Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute. She is a Guest lecturer within the Geneva Academy’s Master in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law. Since August 2017 she is also the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

Professor Ní Aoláin is recognized as a leading expert in the fields of international law, human rights law, national security law, transitional justice and feminist legal theory and has published widely on these issues.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Guatemala, Quiche Department, Nebaj. A family member looks at a loved one's coffin. News

Séminaire: Projet de Traité sur les Crimes contre l'Humanité

12 May 2017

Pour la seconde année consécutive, Amnesty International et l’Académie ont accueilli le 6 mai 2017 à la Villa Moynier un séminaire consacré au projet de traité sur les crimes contre l’humanité, actuellement sur le métier de la Commission du droit international.

Read more

Coverpage of the 2016 Annual Report News

2016 Annual Report

12 June 2017

Our 2016 Annual Report is out! It provides an overview of our activities and achievements.

Read more

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Walikale, people walk on a street during th 2011 presidential elections. Event

Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals

26 September 2018, 18:30-20:00

This public conference provides an opportunity to discuss the contributions of UN human rights mechanisms to the monitoring of the SDGs that seek to realize ESCR and their collaboration with the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.&am

Read more

Syria,  Aleppo, great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Short Course

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

25 January - 22 February 2019

This course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

Read more

General view of the room XX and delegates during of the High Level Segment of the 31st Session at the Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland, February 29, 2016 Short Course

Optimizing the Human Rights Council: At the Interplay Between Law and Politics

23 January - 1 February 2019

This course focuses on the functioning and the mechanisms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as on the dynamics at play in this major human rights body.

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

ICC Trial Chamber VIII declares Mr Al Mahdi guilty of the war crime of attacking historic and religious buildings in Timbuktu and sentences him to nine years’ imprisonment Project

Modes of Liability for International Crimes

Started in January 2015

This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.

Read more