Sixteen practitioners participated in the Intensive Course on Transitional Justice and Peace Processes held in New York from March 5 to March 9, 2018. Participants included leaders in their respective fields, including human rights law, community justice and legal services, peacebuilding, education, and humanitarian affairs. Selected course presentations, led by ICTJ experts and other specialists in the field, delved into cases of current, recent, and paradigmatic peace processes and questions of justice within a comparative context.
Transitional Justice Topics
Experts from ICTJ and the field presented eighteen modules relating to the negotiation of peace agreements and its relationship with justice. Course presentations and discussions raised complex questions, such as the following:
- Does the inclusion of justice measures in peace negotiations require specific trade-offs?
- Should comprehensive legislative reform be prioritized in a period of stabilization?
- How can post-conflict reparative processes address the special needs of women and other vulnerable groups in light of traditional gender roles?
- What is the relationship between international and national criminal accountability efforts?
The course finished with overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees about the foundational insights they gained. The exposure to the challenges and different approaches of justice in peace processes will have practical application in their work, participants said.
Strengthening capacity among human rights practitioners to apply transitional justice measures, such as individual and collective reparations, victim-centered truth telling, and constitutional, legal and institutional reform, is critical in the aftermath of large-scale and systemic violations of human rights. The reinforcement of innovative, context-specific methods is also essential for building and sustaining long-term peace across societies and within a variety of politically challenging environments.
A third course is scheduled for the Fall of 2018 in Barcelona.
"The most valuable element of this course was the comparative work. The ability of practitioners, both new and experienced, to compare country case studies, such as Colombia, South Sudan, Philippines, and Syria and raise a series of questions on substance, process, and participation, is invaluable."—Course participant
"The course exceeded my expectations. I now understand the reality and complexity of the field."—Course participant
"I will apply what I have learned when assessing transitional justice project proposals and in dialogue with relevant stakeholders."—Course participant
PHOTO: Participants pause for a photo in the ICTJ office in New York. (Kelen Meregali/ICTJ)