By the end of the course the students,
- Are familiar with the basis of academic writing and are able to apply these knowledge in the production of an academic essay;
- Improve their argumentative and research skills;
- Have a basic understanding of the field of transitional justice, its main challenges and discussions.
Course completion methods
Students complete the course by
- Their attendance and active participation during the teaching sessions (80% attendance, first session is mandatory without exceptions)
- Written paper/Bachelor thesis (10-12 or 15-20/20-25 pages), including the submission of a short writing piece
- Oral presentation of paper
- Participation as opponent
The course aims at providing the students with sufficient basic knowledge of transitional justice in order to allow them to write an essay which follows basic academic style.
Transitional justice comprises a set of mechanisms aimed at overcoming a past of grave abuses to human rights either from an authoritarian regime or a post conflict setting. As such, it is a field that mixes international and domestic elements mixing diverse disciplines, among them, law. In this course, we will study the field of transitional justice first presenting an ‘orthodox’ view of the field, and then suggesting different elements for a critical assessment. We will review different transitional justice settings and observe the expanding scope of the field, its challenges, and the different criticisms that have been posed against it.
The course will comprise 6 teaching sessions:
- Introduction: An introductory session will be dedicated to review the basics of academic writing. The structure, argument, citation skills. Reading material will be assigned in order to analyse these elements in the following session.
- Academic Writing: In this session we will continue to deepen in the elements of the previous session by analysing a sample of academic writing.
- The field of Transitional Justice: This session will be dedicated to introduce the topic of transitional justice. To this end, 2 or 3 texts will be assigned for reading, students will chose one. The students will be asked to participate in an active discussion to identify the main topics.
- Criticisms: This session will cover some of the discussions around the field by assessing the criticisms posed towards the field of Transitional Justice. Again, 2 or 3 texts are assigned for reading, and students may choose one and discuss it during the session.
- Mechanisms I: This session will cover the specific mechanisms of transitional justice. 2 or 3 texts are assigned for reading, and students may choose one and discuss it during the session.
- Mechanisms II: This session will cover the specific mechanisms of transitional justice. 2 or 3 texts are assigned for reading, and students may choose one and discuss it during the session. Writing topics will be chose by students at this point.
- Initial writing period: During this period students will begin with the writing. Each student will have a meeting with the teacher to discuss their topics, main challenges, etc. By the end of this period students are expected to produce a short writing piece (3-5 pages).
- Review session: In this sessions, after reviewing the short writing pieces, feedback will be provided by the teacher covering the main problems observed in the papers. Specific feedback will also be provided to each student in a short written form.
- Second writing period: Student are required to write the final papers.
- Presentations: 3 sessions will be dedicated to present the papers. Each students will prepare a 10 minute presentation of their paper and 2 other students will be assigned as opponents. The opponents will each pose two questions/feedback to the presenting student, aimed at improving their paper.
- Final paper: a final deadline will be given for the submission of the final version of the papers.
Teaching language Teaching language is English and the writings have to be written in English.
Literature (may be subject to change):
- Orentlicher, Diane, ‘“Settling Accounts” Revisited: Reconciling Global Norms with Local Agency’ (2007) 1 International Journal of Transitional Justice 10.
- Teitel, Ruti, ‘Transitional Justice Genealogy’ (2003) 16 Harvard Human Rights Journal 69
- Jon Elster, ‘Justice, Truth, Peace’ in Melissa Williams, Rosemary Nagy, and Jon (eds) Transitional Justice : NOMOS LI (New York University Press, 2012)
- McEvoy, Kieran and McConnachie, Kirsten, ‘Victims and Transitional Justice: Voice, agency and blame’ (2013) 22 Social and Legal Studies 489
- McEvoy, Kieran. ‘Letting Go of Legalism: Developing a ‘Thicker’ Version of Transitional Justice, in Kieran McEvoy and Lorna McGregor (eds) Transitional Justice from Below: Grassroots Activism and the Struggle for Change (Hart, 2008).
- Hannah Franzki and Maria Carolina Olarte. ‘Understanding the Political Economy of Transitional Justice. A critical theory perspective’ in Susanne Buckley-Zistel et al (eds) Transitional Justice Theories (Routledge, 2014).
- Koskenniemi, Martti, ‘Between Impunity and Show Trials’ (2002) 6 Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law 1.
- Bisset, Alison. Truth Commissions and Criminal Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2012) Chapter 1: Truth commissions and trials within the transitional justice framework.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report (Vol 1, 1998) Chapter 4: The Mandate
- De Greiff, Pablo, ‘Justice and Reparations’ in Pablo De Greiff (ed.) The Handkbook of Reparations (OUP, Oxford, 2008)
- Naomi Roht-Arriaza, ‘Reparations Decisions and Dilemmas’ (2003-2004) 27 Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 157.
- Becker, Lucinda and Denicolo, Pam. Publishing Journal Articles (SAGE, 2013) Chapters 3: Planning and getting started.
- UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, 9 August 2012, A/HRC/21/46
- UN Security Council, The rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies (23 August 2004) S/2004/616
- Bell, Christine. ‘Transitional Justice, Interdisciplinarity and the State of the ‘Field’ or ‘Non-Field’ (2009) 3 The International Journal of Transitional Justice 5.
- Fletcher, Laurel E. ‘Refracted Justice: The imagined victim and the International Criminal Court’ in Christian De Vos et al (eds) Contested Justice: The Politics and Practice of International Criminal Court Interventions (CUP, Cambridge, 2015)
- Madlingozi, Tshepo, ‘On Transitional Justice Entrepreneurs and the Production of Victims’ (2010) 2 Journal of Human Rights Practice 208.
- Aukerman, Miriam. ‘Extraordinary Evil, Ordinary Crime: A Framework for Understanding Transitional Justice’ (2002) 15 Harvard Human Rights Journal 39.
- Uprimny, Rodrigo and Saffon, Maria Paula ‘Transitional Justice, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation. Some Insights from the Colombian Case’ online: http://www.global.wisc.edu/reconciliation/library/papers_open/saffon.pdf
- Orentlicher, Diane, ‘Settling Accounts: The Duty to Prosecute Human Rights Violations of a Prior Regime’ (1991) 100 Yale Law Journal 2537.
The Basics of Academic Writing seminar will be graded on a scale of 0 to 5. The grade is based on an overall assessment with particular focus on the presentation of the research problem and definition of the topic, the clarity and systematic approach of the thesis structure, the use of references, the argumentation and consistency of the conclusions, the presentation and language as well as on serving as an opponent and participating in the seminar. 80% of the overall grade of the seminar is based on the assessment of the seminar thesis and 20% on the assessment of the oral presentation in the seminar, serving as an opponent and participation in the seminar.
The bachelor’s thesis will be graded on a scale of 0 to 5. Overall, the grading will focus on the presentation of the research problem and definition of the topic, the clarity and systematic approach of the thesis structure, the use of references, the argumentation and consistency of the conclusions as well as the presentation and language. 80% of the overall grade of the seminar is based on the assessment of the seminar thesis and 20% on the assessment of the oral presentation in the seminar, serving as an opponent and participation in the seminar.
The maximum participant amount is 16 students by order of registration. Degree students are prioritised, but if there spaces available, the seminar is open also to law exhange students.
In this seminar you may complete you Academic Writing seminar (5 cr) or LL.B. Thesis seminar (6/10 cr). Students who have started their studies after 1.8.2017 get six credits for their LL.B. Thesis seminar. Students who have begun their studies before 1.8.2017 get 10 credits for their LL.B. Thesis seminar.
Update 27.3.2020: The seminar is teached on distance and the teacher will inform the students.
Students should have a basic understanding of either of the following subjects: International Law; Human Rights; Transitional Justice; Restorative Justice.