Fourth Intensive Course on Truth Commissions

Date and time: 
Monday, September 24, 2012 - 09:00 to Friday, September 28, 2012 - 17:00
Barcelona, Spain

ICTJ, in partnership with the Barcelona International Peace Resource Center (BIPRC), is pleased to announce the 4th Intensive Course on Truth Commissions, focused this year on the challenge of recognizing the experiences of vulnerable populations in the work of truth commissions.

Under what conditions can truth commissions make a positive contribution to gender justice? How can they put in place a friendly process for children? Can they contribute to the rights of indigenous peoples? What are the practical and conceptual considerations facing mediators, donors, and international and national actors as they engage with truth commissions?

This course is intended to provide busy practitioners with an opportunity to reflect on these and related questions under the guidance of leading experts in the field of transitional justice.

Application form
(Also available as a Word document.)
Note: Deadline to apply has been extended to July 16, 2012.

The course seeks to prepare practitioners directly involved in human rights, rule of law, and transitional justice with the necessary tools to assess the appropriateness of creating a truth commission in the wake of protracted conflict or dictatorship, and how to ensure the design and implementation of such measures are sensitive to contextual realities. The course provides participants with the knowledge required to conceive, implement, and engage with truth commissions in the light of best international practice and principles.

This course will discuss truth-seeking as part of a comprehensive approach to deal with massive human rights violations, with the aim of building sustainable peace, strengthening the rule of law, and contributing to reconciliation in divided societies.

The course will critically appraise truth commissions as instruments to implement the rights of victims of gross human rights violations. Course participants will learn how and why truth commissions have emerged as accountability mechanisms, and assess their potentials and limitations. The course curriculum balances academic reflection with concrete considerations relevant to practitioners. Participants will explore the political and practical challenges around the design, implementation, and follow-up of a truth commission. The format includes a combination of lectures, small group discussion, and simulations. Active participation is expected from all participants as the course depends on an exchange of practical experiences.

This course will be held in September 24–28, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Save the date!

The program is primarily targeted at mid-career and senior staff of multilateral agencies, governments, NGOs, foundations, and universities who wish to undertake an intensive course on cutting-edge developments in the expanding field of transitional justice. Practitioners directly involved in countries considering the establishment of truth commissions or similar efforts are especially encouraged to apply.

Please note: There is a fee to participate in this course, and no scholarships are available at this time. More information can be found in the call for applications.

If you have any questions please contact Ms. Kelen Meregali, Truth and Memory Program Associate, at

What: 4th Intensive Course on Truth Commissions
When: September 24–28, 2012
Where: Barcelona, Spain

The International Center for Transitional Justice assists societies confronting massive human rights abuses to promote accountability, pursue truth, provide reparations, and build trustworthy institutions. Committed to the vindication of victims’ rights and the promotion of gender justice, we provide expert technical advice, policy analysis, and comparative research on transitional justice approaches, including criminal prosecutions, reparations initiatives, truth seeking and memory, and institutional reform.

The Barcelona International Peace Resource Center (BIPRC) is the outcome of an initiative launched by Barcelona City Council to promote the culture of peace through dialogue, awareness-raising, and training in crisis management and conflict resolution. The center is housed in the outstanding facilities of Montjuïc Castle, overlooking Barcelona city and harbor. More information at