Human Rights and Transitional Justice

The summer school focuses on a different theme within the field of human rights and transitional justice each year. The theme for the 2015 edition is Justice, Reparations and Development.

The relationship between human rights, transitional  justice and development requires fresh attention. The field of transitional justice has evolved in the past decade to include social, economic, cultural and legal dimensions, and to cover larger objectives such as rule of law and development. While a more holistic view on transitions might be welcome, the different fields may conflict with each other. 
Justice actors are not development agents, nor are development actors necessarily best agents for accountability, truth or reparations. Making development assistance contingent on rule of law reform may be counterproductive, since it may create dependencies or discrepancies in relation to needs of protection or other more pressing socio-economic needs (health, education, access to resources etc.). Conversely, promoting justice through instruments of development may have significant downsides. As evidenced in the transitional justice context, awarding reparation through development programmes may leave victims with a feeling that their suffering is not sufficiently recognized.

More work is required to identify how the mutual synergies between these fields may be used most effectively to the benefit of all of them. This is the central inquiry of this Summer School. It explores linkages, as well as tensions between justice processes, reparations and development. Confirmed faculty includes Djordje Djordjevic (UNDP), Roger Duthie (ICTJ), Paul Seils (ICTJ), Prof. William Schabas (Leiden University) and Marieke Wierda (Transitional Justice Advisor UNSMIL). Professionals and advanced students with a background in law or human rights are invited to apply.

More information

For more information about this summer school, please visit the website of Grotius Centre.