21 May 2019
During three days, students of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) immersed, via a practical exercise and in the context of the 2019 Spring School, in the design and establishment of a truth commission to address past human rights abuses.
Under the guidance of Howard Varney, a leading expert on the issue, they took up the roles of different stakeholders – including international and local NGOs, the United Nations and the African Union and the national government – involved in the process of designing and formulating the mandate of a truth commission in the context of a post-conflict truth-telling process involving local, regional, nationals and international actors.
‘Students had to work on a complex fictive scenario that involved a multitude of human rights violations committed by state and non-state actors in the context of a prolonged ethnic conflict ’ explains Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ.
The Spring School provided an opportunity for students to work productively together during three days, share rich experiences and knowledge, and gain a more practical perspective of truth commissions as a central transitional justice ‘mechanism’.
‘During three days, students learnt to ‘apply’ their theoretical knowledge of truth commissions to a practical case by working in groups on very concrete problems relevant to truth commissions’ mandates and by adopting various actors’ perspectives’ underlines Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the MTJ.
‘We were impressed by the great team spirit and motivation, as well as by the high level of argumentation and engagement of the participants’ he adds.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Following the easing of lockdown measures announced by the Swiss Federal Council, the Geneva Academy will gradually reopen its doors from Monday, 8 June.
Students of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law – 2019-2020 academic year – successfully took up the challenge of addressing in around 20-pages contemporary transitional justice issues and challenges.
This online short course will examine the protection afforded by international human rights law in these contexts, with a specific focus on the right to peaceful assembly – which is at the heart of such movements –, and the right to life – which is often violated during such transitional moments.
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.
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.
UN Photo/Stuart Price
This project aims at mapping various existing accountability mechanisms, in the context of military interventions, through the lens of the requirements of a transitional justice process in order to identify possibilities and gaps.