Spring 2011


Study Group: Human Rights and Transitional Justice


The goal of the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Study Group is to provide a forum through which students can explore the interplay between human rights and transitional justice in post conflict societies. The group will analyze various mechanisms – criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs, security system reform, and memorialization efforts – and identify the challenges of pursuing these endeavors in the aftermath of conflict.


MEETING 1  - Wednesday, February 16, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)
Jeffrey Bae & Jaime Rapaport Barry

  • Introduction to Transitional Justice Mechanisms and Frameworks
  • Transitional Justice with a Gendered Lens

Readings

Guidance Note of the Secretary-General: United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Camille Pampell Conway, and Lisa Kays, Transitional Justice and Reconciliation


MODULE I: POST-CONFLICT SITUATIONS


MEETING 2 - Wednesday, February 23, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Perkins Room (Rubenstein 4)
Jeanne Paloma-Zelmati & Jeffrey Bae

  • Reconstruction and Security Reform
  • Fixing Broken Public Justice Systems

“The Aftermath of War: Reconstruction and Institutional Reform in Post-Conflict Societies”

Episodes of internal unrest, civil wars, and dictatorship often expose devastated institutions and broken public justice systems. This session will explore the process of reconstruction and reform and examine how societies deal with the aftermath of conflict.

Readings

TBD


MEETING 3 - Wednesday, March 9, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)
Simar Singh & Jaime Rapaport Barry

  • Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration
  • Children and Transitional Justice

“From War to Peace: Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in Post-Conflict Societies”

Special Guest Speaker: Frank Pearl, former Colombia High Commissioner for Peace

The process of disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating former combatants is a key step in any peace process. This session will look at the political and technical nature of maintaining peace in post-conflict societies.

Readings

TBD


MODULE II: JUSTICE & ACCOUNTABILITY


MEETING 4 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)
Jaime Rapaport Barry & Duncan Pickard

  • Truth Commissions
    • Video: Long Day’s Journey into Night (on South African apartheid)

“Exposing the Truth: Truth Commissions and Transitional Justice”

Tasked with investigating and exposing the crimes perpetuated in conflict situations, truth commissions are key tools within transitional justice. This session will explore the benefits and drawbacks of truth commissions and weigh the merits of the mechanisms as instruments of securing justice and reconciliation.

Readings

TBD


MEETING 5 - Wednesday, April 6, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Venue: TBD
Lillian Langford & Jeffrey Bae

  • Tribunals & Criminal Prosecutions
  • Reparations

“Seeking Justice: Criminal Prosecutions of Mass Atrocities”

Prosecutions are often the principal legal means of securing justice for perpetrators of mass atrocities. This session will explore the objectives of putting individuals on trial and examine the use of criminal tribunals as means to secure justice in post-conflict societies. The group will also look at the issue of reparations for victims of conflict.

Tentative Speaker:

Anees Ahmed is the United Nations appointed Senior Assistant Prosecutor of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal (KRT) based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  He is part of the team of prosecutors in the ongoing trial of Duch, the Commandant of the Tuol Sleng Security Center (S-21) where more than 14000 men, women and children were tortured and killed during the Khmer Rouge regime.  He has also appeared for the prosecution in the cases of Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary, the two senior-most surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge.
Before joining the KRT, Ahmed was a Legal Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.  He is a graduate of the London School of Economics where he was a Chevening Scholar. He is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of India. He lectures regularly on international criminal and human rights laws.

Readings

TBD


MODULE III: ALTERNATIVE MECHANISMS


MEETING 6 - Wednesday, April 20, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)
Quinnie Lin

  • Memorialization
  • Religious and Cultural Rituals

“Remembering Hell: Memorialization and Rituals in Transitional Justice”

This session will explore the process of memorialization and how post-conflict societies use this process to heal and reconcile. A special emphasis will be placed on religious and cultural rituals that aim to remember those who have been affected by conflict.

Readings

TBD


MEETING 7 - Wednesday, May 4, 2011
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)

This meeting will consist of logistical and administrative items to wrap up the semester.