Intitulé du cours: Transitional Justice. Addressing Past Abuses and Lying the Foundations for Stable Peace


Enseignant(s): Pr. Gabriella Citroni of the University of Milano-Bicocca

Semestre: deuxième semestre 2017-2018

Nombre d’heures de cours: 12 h

Langue principale: anglais

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Dates and time:

  1. Monday 29 January 2018, 9-13;

  2. Tuesday 30 January 2018, 9-13;

  3. Wednesday 31 January 2018, 9-13;

 

Room: TBD

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Background and Course Synopsis:

This course will examine the development of the notion of transitional justice, its main constitutive elements, as well as the actors involved (including authorities, international organisations, NGOs, and non-State actors). The aim of the course is to introduce participants to the history and main theories underlying transitional justice and then focus on the mechanisms employed in transitional justice contexts to address past abuses and gross human rights violations. Attention will also be devoted to the existing debates in the field, as well as to the most significant challenges faced in practice by transitional justice mechanisms. The course will confront participants with scenarios that may be encountered in the work of transitional justice professionals, asking them to be proactively involved in discussion and presentations. The course will look into transitional justice issues from a multi-sectoral perspective and case studies will be central to the analysis. Reference will be made, where pertinent, to international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Special attention will be devoted to the design and functioning of truth commissions and other truth-seeking mechanisms, and to the documentation of gross human rights violations and crimes under international law. The judicial dimension of transitional justice will also be subject of analysis and discussion as well as its relationship with the “truth-seeking” component and the admissibility of certain measures, such as amnesty laws, that limit accountability. Finally, the subjects of memorialisation, guarantees of non repetition, and measures of reparation for past abuses will be presented and discussed.

Methodology:

The course will be conducted as a seminar. Compulsory as well as optional readings are indicated below. Students will have to autonomously locate the materials either online or with the help of the library: learning to locate relevant information and documentation from various sources is a crucial skill for any practitioner in the field of transitional justice.

Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions. The first lecture will be of a more general scope. The origins of the concept of transitional justice and its features will be considered, together with the major actors involved in this field and their respective roles. Both theoretical aspects and practical implications will be discussed and space and attention will be devoted to the normative and political debates raised by transitional justice processes.

In the other two lectures, besides continuing the analysis of transitional justice tools, attention will be devoted to case studies and time will be allocated to group debate.

Given the professional background of the convenor of the course, the experiences, expectations, and needs of victims of gross human rights violations, their families and their representative associations, will be maintained as a parameter to analyse the success of transitional justice initiatives.

Teaching:

The course convenor is professor Gabriella Citroni of the University of Milano-Bicocca (gabriella.citroni@unimib.it).

Gabriella Citroni (Ph.D.) is professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. She acts as the international legal advisor for the Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of Disappeared People (FEDEFAM). Since 2008 she works as senior legal advisor for the Swiss NGO TRIAL International. From 2003 to 2005 she was a member, as legal advisor, of the Italian delegation at the United Nations during the negotiations of the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. She researches in particular on subjects related to international human rights law and, on a part time basis, she cooperates with a number of international NGOs providing legal assistance to victims of serious human rights violations and their relatives in different countries including Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Morocco, Colombia, Peru, Iraq, and Mexico. She has written a number of articles and books on international human rights law and transitional justice.

In the field of transitional justice, she works mainly as legal advisor for victims of gross human rights violations. She has been supporting victims in bringing their cases before Truth Commissions in Peru and Nepal and has been involved in the process of designing truth or inquiry commissions in Colombia and Western Sahara. In the mentioned countries she is also involved in activities related to the preservation of historical memory and measures of reparation.

Evaluation:

50% of the assessment is based on the participation in class. The rest of the evaluation is based on the written paper (a legal brief on a subject assigned to the students at the end of the course). The written paper (in word format, no longer than 2 pages, written in Times New Roman 11, with 1,5 line spacing) must be submitted via e-mail by 9 February 2018 at noon.

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Course Structure:

Lecture 1 (29 January 2018): Introduction and Truth-Seeking Mechanisms
 

During the first lecture there will be a general presentation of the course, its objectives, and the assessment methodology.

In the first lecture, the main constitutive elements of transitional justice will be presented and the development of this notion will be critically analysed. Furthermore, the actors mainly active in this field – both institutional and non-governmental – will be presented, devoting a special attention to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence.

In the final part of the lecture, truth-seeking mechanisms will be looked at, illustrating their main features, composition, mandate, and functioning, and presenting some of the major challenges faced by Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. The importance of the participation of victims of gross human rights violations in the design, implementation and evaluation of truth-seeking mechanisms will also be discussed.

Compulsory Readings:

  • Arthur Paige, , in Vol. 31 No. 2, 2009, pp. 321-367.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, UN Doc. A/HRC/24/24 of 28 August 2013.

  • Updated Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity (Commission on Human Rights, resolution 2005/81 of 21 April 2005).

  • UN Human Rights Council, Resolution 18/7 of 13 October 2011; and Resolution 27/3 of 3 October 2014.

  • Juan E. Méndez, in Vol. 10 No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-5.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, , UN Doc. A/HRC/34/62 of 27 December 2016.

 

Additional Optional Readings:

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, UN doc. A/HRC/21/46 of 9 August 2012.

  • Ruti Teitel, in , Vol. 16, 2003, pp. 69-94.

  • International Center for Transitional Justice, 2008, available at: https://www.ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-Global-Transitional-Justice-2009-English.pdf.

  • Paul Gready, Simon Robins, in , Vol. 8, No. 3, 2014, pp. 339-361.

  • UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/2004/616 of 23 August 2014.

  • Louis Bickford, in , Vol. 29, No. 4, 2007, pp. 994-1035.

  • Thomas Bundschuh, in International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2015, pp. 10-32.

 

Lecture 2 (30 January 2018): Documentation of Gross Human Rights Violations and Prosecution and Trials in Transitional Justice
 

The second lecture will complete the earlier examination of truth-seeking mechanisms and will briefly analyse the challenges involved in the documentation of gross human rights violations (with particular attention to the collection of evidence, interviews, and data storage). The second pillar of transitional justice will then be analysed, illustrating the role played by domestic, international, and hybrid tribunals. The admissibility of certain measures, such as amnesty laws or the reduction of sanctions for perpetrators of gross human rights violations will be discussed, referring to specific case studies.

 

Compulsory Readings:

 

Additional Optional Readings:

 

Lecture 3 (31 January 2018): Measures of Reparation, Memorialisation and Guarantees of Non-repetition

The third lecture will complete the earlier examination of the relationship between truth-seeking and justice. The peculiarities of measures of reparation for gross human rights violations will be looked at, and the notion of guarantees of non-repetition will be presented. Finally, the subject of memorialisation and the challenges and dilemmas posed by measures and initiatives aiming at preserving historical memory will be discussed, with reference to concrete case studies.

Compulsory Readings:

  • Judy Barsalou and Victoria Baxter, , United States Institute of Peace, 2007, available at https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/srs5.pdf.

  • Ereshnee Naidu, Bix Gabriel, Mofidul Hoque (eds.), , 2014, available at: http://www.justica.gov.br/central-de-conteudo/anistia/anexos/m2a-ingles-miolo-e-capa.pdf.

  • United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law (General Assembly resolution 60/147 of 16 December 2005).

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, UN Doc. A/HRC/30/42 of 7 September 2015.

  • UN General Assembly, Resolution 70/262 of 27 April 2016.

 

Additional Optional Readings:

  • Mark J. Osiel, in , Vol. 22, No. 1, 2000, pp. 118-147.

  • Margaret Urban Walker, in , Vol. 10, No. 1, 2016, pp. 108-125.

  • Nairobi Declaration on Women’s and Girls’ Right to a Remedy and Reparation (2007), available at: https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/NAIROBI_DECLARATIONeng.pdf.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, , UN Doc. A/69/518 of 14 October 2014.

  • Un Security Council, recommendation 2282 of 27 April 2016.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, UN Doc. A/70/438 of 21 October 2015.