Fall 2013

Human Rights and Transitional Justice Seminar Series

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Session 1:

Preventing Genocide and Responsibility to Protect: The Case of Sudan

Thursday, September 12, 2013
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

Watch this Event on Video!

Session Leader: 

  •  Mr. Omer Ismail, MPA '14.

Suggested Readings:

Session 2:

Dealing with Trauma in the Transitions

Thursday, September 26, 2013
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

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Session Overview:

In 2011, after the successful completion of the referendum in Sudan, Abyei, a disputed border area of the Sudans was violently attacked and occupied by northern forces. The Ngok Dinka, the areas inhabitants, were displaced and after 2 years have just recently begun to return home in substantial numbers. The traumatic conditions of the displaced population influence the possibilities for reconciliation and highlight the essential role that justice plays in post-conflict recovery and stabilization. The dispute over the area’s status as part of north or south continues to pose a threat to the co-existence of the local populations and the 2 states. 

Discussed will be findings regarding the material and psychological conditions of the displaced population and their willingness to reconcile with former enemies. The case of Abyei underlines the practical challenges of justice in an ever-changing environment and how justice relates to reconciliation and the possibilities for long-term stability.

Session Leader: 

  • Belkys Lopez, Kush Inc.
    comment from Birtukan Deme, MPA '14.

Follow-up Materials:

  • Dr Kuol's presentation slides (pdf)

Suggested Readings:

More about the presenter:

Belkys López is a specialist in governance, peace-building, and development, with a focus on post-conflict transitions. Since the 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, she has worked in the critical border area of Abyei. The area’s disputed status as belonging to Sudan or South Sudan threatens the fragile peace between the two states. She has worked extensively on conflict prevention and management, examining the impact of trauma and economic instability on peace. Her research efforts are detailed in an extensive report released this summer.

Previously, she worked as a technical advisor to the government of Abyei. Also, during her time in the Sudans she designed and managed emergency relief, water and sanitation, development, and capacity-building programs.

She currently works as a consultant and serves on the advisory board of KUSH Inc, a South Sudanese-American Non-Governmental Organization. Prior to her time in Sudan, she worked at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania and received fellowships for research carried out in South Africa and Cuba. Past research focus includes the role of non-state authorities in the global economy and the transforming nature of the state in regionalization. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Warwick in International Political Economy and a BA in Political Science and Africana Studies from Bryn Mawr College.

Session 3:

Rwanda Genocide: A Reminder

Tuesday, October 8, 2013     (Note: Day changed from Thurs. to Tues.)
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

Watch this Event on Video!

Session Leader: 

  •   Francis Gatare, MPA '14.

Follow-up Materials:

  • Dr Kuol's presentation slides (pdf)
    Mr. Gatare's presentation slides (pdf)

Suggested Readings:

Session 4:

Informal Legal Systems and Transitional Justice

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

 

Watch this Event on Video!

Session Leader: 

  •   Mr. David Deng, South Sudan Law Society.

Suggested Readings:

Additional Materials:

  • Mr. Deng's presentation slides (pdf)

More on the presenter:

David Deng is the Research Director of the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS), a civil society organization dedicated to promoting the rule of law and respect for human rights in South Sudan.

Since obtaining his law degree from New York University (NYU) School of Law in 2010, Deng has organized a multifaceted advocacy campaign on the risks and opportunities of large-scale land investments in South Sudan. In partnership with other civil society actors, Deng has conducted comprehensive field research on land investments throughout the ten states; organized numerous capacity-building and awareness raising workshops for communities, civil society organizations, and government institutions involved with land investments; and developed a handbook on community engagement to help promote responsible investment and sustainable development in South Sudan.

Deng recently supervised a yearlong research project examining local justice systems in six rural counties in South Sudan. The research included a household survey that compiled statistically significant information about the incidence rates of different types of disputes, the actors that households complained to in order to resolve the disputes, and people’s opinions and perceptions of justice. The main findings have been published in a report entitled, Challenges of Accountability: An assessment of local justice systems in South Sudan.

Session 5:

Documenting Genocide: The Case of Darfur

Tuesday, November 5 2013
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

Session Leader: 

  • Dr. Mohamed Eisa, MPA '14
    Darfur Fellow, Physicians for Human Rights
    Medical Director and Co-Founder, Amel Center for the Treatment &
    Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture, Darfur, Sudan. 

Follow-up Materials:

  • Dr. Eisa's PowerPoint presentation (as PDF)

More about the presenter:

  • Dr. Mohamed Eisa CV (pdf)

Session 6:

The Challenges of Human Rights and Transitional Justice in South Sudan

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

Session Overview:

  • South Sudan’s brief background (brief history of liberation through CPA to Independence). What is Transitional Justice and of what purpose does it serve to a society? Key elements of Transitional Justice and of what significance are they to South Sudan? South Sudan’s attempts to deal with its past legacy(some brief highlights during the CPA but will focus on the current initiatives under Govt and Arch Bp Deng Bul). The challenges to Transitional Justice in South Sudan? Opportunities to overcome the challenges to Transitional Justice in South Sudan. Specific Recommendations.

Session Leaders: 

  • Jehanne Henry, senior researcher, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
     
  • Biel Boutros, Columbia University, Human Rights Advocates Program

Suggested Readings:   (Priority can be given to those readings marked with **)

  • **Minow, Martha (1998) “Between Vengeance and Forgiveness; facing history after genocide and mass violence” Beacon Press, Boston.
     
  • Hamed, Elhaj (2009) “Transitional Justice in Sudan’s CPA; is it for conflict resolution or for mediation of post cold war power interests? 
     
  • Naqvi, Yasmin (2006) “The right to the truth in International Law: fact or fiction?” International Review of Red Cross, Vol. 88, No. 862
     
  • Mendeloff, David (2004) “Truth-Seeking, Truth-Telling and Postconflict Peacebuilding; Curb the Enthusiasm?” International Studies Review
     
  • **Committtee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation (2013) “Comprehensive Strategy Dimension for Healing, Peace and Reconciliation for all South Sudanese”
     
  • **The Sudd Institute (2013) “Peace and Reconciliation in South Sudan: A conversation for Justice and Stability” Special Report.
     
  • **The Wunlit Conference (1999), “The West Bank Nuer/Dinka People-to-People Peace and Reconciliation Conference, February-March
     
  • BBC (2011) “South Sudan Becomes an Independent nation” A descriptive news report at the eve of independence on July 8, 2011, by BBC’s Will Ross, Juba, South Sudan.
    Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995, South Africa 
     
  • CNN World, "Why a U.N. rights council seat could be good for South Sudan," Biel Boutros Biel, Nov. 11, 2013.
     
  • Sudan Tribune, "Can South Sudan qualify for a seat at UN human rights body," Beny Gideon Mabor. Nov. 2, 2013.
     
  • Sudd Institute, "Managing Violence in Jonglei: A Test of Legitimacy and Credibility in Juba," Augustino Ting Mayai and Jok Madut Jok, Nov. 9, 2013.

Follow-up materials:

  • Biel Boutros Biel's presentation slides (PDF)

More about the presenters:

Biel Boutros Biel; LLB, Dip. Law: Biel is South Sudanese, Lawyer, member of South Sudan Law Society and is now an Advocate in the 2013 Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University. He is a Prominent Human Rights Defender in South Sudan, heading, as an Executive Director, the South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA), a non political and non-profit making national human rights organization founded in 2007 by South Sudanese Lawyers and Law Students. He is also the co-chair of the National Human Rights Forum with the chair of South Sudan Human Rights Commission. He previously served as the Secretary General & official spokesperson of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance. Biel was also 2013 Transitional Justice Fellow at the Institute for Justice & Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Busoga University, a Diploma in Law from Makerere Law Development Centre, a Certificate in Journalism & Mass Communications from the International Institute for Business and Media Studies in Uganda and a Certificate in Advanced Human Rights Systems from Pretoria University, Pretoria, South Africa.


Biel's areas of research interests include; International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, Transitional Justice, Governance & Rule of Law, Constitutional Law, International Environmental Law and Criminal Law. Biel widely published a series of articles which appeared in the websites and Newspapers of the Sudan Tribune, South Sudan Nation, South Sudan.net, Gurtong, Allafrica, South Sudan News Agency, The Nile Fortune, The Juba Monitor and The Citizen English Dailies etc. His published articles include; (i) Rule of Law vs Rule of Man; where is South Sudan? (ii) Justice delayed, justice denied, cry the blood of Isaiah Abraham! (iii) Military Option Against LRA will end in fiasco (iv) The death of Rule of law in South Sudan, etc. He is the author of research book “THE ABUSE OF RULE OF LAW BY THE STATE” and three forthcoming books namely; “GRACE OR GRAVE: WHERE TO IS SOUTH SUDAN HEADING?” “CRY THE INNOCENT SOULS” & “THE PATH I TRAVEL.”

Jehanne Henry is a senior researcher in Human Rights Watch’s Africa division. She supervises and contributes to the work on Sudan, South Sudan, and Kenya. She has worked with the organization since 2008 focusing initially on the conflict in Darfur, then on a range of other issues in Sudan and South Sudan. Prior to joining the organization, she served as a human rights officer with the United Nations Mission in Sudan based in North Darfur. She has worked on human rights and rule of law issues with USAID in Cambodia and as a legal adviser in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, and managed a legal aid program with the American Refugee Committee in Kosovo. Henry has also worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and clerked for a U.S. federal judge in New York. She is admitted to the New York state bar. More information.

Session 7:

Rethinking Transitional Justice: Policy Panel

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
4:30 - 6:00 pm
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein, Room R-219)

Session Overview:

  • The session will attempt to sum up the various prior meetings' themes regarding specific policy directions in general and their relevance to HKS in particular. It will provide an overview of the future of transitional justice, and the role HKS might play in shaping its direction. Panelists will also offer personal reflections on transitional justice and its future trends, with particular focus on Asia, Africa and Globally.
     
  • Panelists:

    Luka Kuol
    , Carr Center Fellow
    Ms. Fonseka Bhavani, MPA '14
    Charlie Clements, Executive Director, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Suggested Readings: