Policy Relations

ICTJ works with policymakers at the local, national, and international levels, whose decisions can have profound impact on transitional justice. We provide advice and analysis to help them formulate policy.

  • Informing best practice: provide analysis of transitional justice ‘best practices’ based on our research and field experience worldwide. Our policy briefs and reports on best practice cover measures such as Reparations, Census and Identification in Vetting, and Children and Truth Commissions.
  • Sharing knowledge: We offer training, briefings, seminars, and conferences to inform policy on transitional justice approaches. Attendees have included officials from United Nations agencies and departments, the African Union, the Organization of American States, and the European Union.
  • Demonstrating the relevance of transitional justice into broader policy priorities: We highlight the importance of including transitional justice considerations—and the voices of victims—in related fields such as development, rule of law, peace building, and conflict prevention. For instance, we have facilitated opportunities for victims of mass atrocities or their representatives to address the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
  • Contributing to international standards for accountability and justice: We provide advice and recommendations on guidelines, principles, and other foundational documents in transitional justice and related fields. For example, ICTJ has regularly addressed the UN Security Council since 2004 on questions related to the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies, as well as the legacy of international tribunals.

In addition, ICTJ has provided input to the UN Updated Principles to Combat Impunity, to the revision of the UN’s Guidelines for Peace Mediators, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards. We have also worked with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to produce a series of policy guidance tools.

European Union

Since 2006, ICTJ has worked closely with key EU institutions to promote and apply best practices in transitional justice, including:

  • Providing input and technical advice to the Directorates General for Development and Human Rights on policy options for the EU’s approach to transitional justice, including the 2010 consultation for review of the EU Development Policy.
  • Holding comprehensive and targeted technical seminars, such as a 2006 seminar for the Political and Security Committee.
  • Appearing at European Parliament Hearings, including a special session dedicated to transitional justice at the Subcommittee on Human Rights in 2006.

Universal Periodic Review

ICTJ regularly makes submissions to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

Operating since 2008, the UPR reviews the human rights records of UN Member States. The HRC asks states to submit information on actions they have taken to fulfill their human rights obligations, and invites other states and civil society groups to provide independent comment and analysis.

ICTJ makes submissions to the UPR on countries where we have relevant expertise. We are often the only civil society organization specifically drawing attention to transitional justice issues, and ICTJ’s submissions are often drawn upon by states in their formulation of questions to the country under review.

View ICTJ’s submissions

The Initiative for Peacebuilding

From 2008–2010, ICTJ was part of the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP)—a group led by International Alert and funded by the European Commission.

The IfP drew together the expertise of 10 civil society organizations with expertise on conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The aim was to provide stakeholders with strong independent analysis to help them to make more informed policy decisions.

ICTJ was involved in four of the twelve reports the IfP has published on democratization and transitional justice.