Catherine O’Rourke and Elise Ketelaars
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new issue of the Ulster University Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper Series on the Social Sciences Research Network. This exciting new issue engages both with highly-topical contemporary questions, as well as long-standing challenges in international law, peace, human rights and gender equality. First off, we are particularly pleased to be able to share the full-text of Louise Mallinder‘s recent inaugural professorial lecture at Ulster University. In this thoughtful and provocative contribution, Mallinder explores long-term trends in amnesty laws and locates contemporary political developments in broader historical context. Eilish Rooney‘s highly unique and rich contribution offers pedagogic reflections on her experience of developing and delivering a Grassroots Transitional Justice Toolkit to community development students and practitioners in Belfast.
Both the contributions of Mallinder and Rooney reflect long-term bodies of work, which are currently supported by the DFID-funded Political Settlements Research Programme, a unique North-South, scholar-practitioner consortium of five institutions (University of Edinburgh Global Justice Academy, Ulster University Transitional Justice Institute, Conciliation Resources, Rift Valley Institute and the Institute for Security Studies). We are delighted to showcase some of the programme outputs here. All of the programme outputs are available open access through the publications database at the programme website.
The contribution of TJI friend and colleague, Evelyn Schmid, is the latest in her body of work exploring the potential of international criminal law in the advancement and enforcement of socio-economic rights. The paper considers the implications and risks of recent developments at the International Criminal Court pointing to increased priority for crimes involving illegal exploitation of resources and illegal dispossession of land. Finally, Anne Smith and Leo Green make a timely and important intervention into debates about the protection of human rights in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as the UK advances its withdrawal from the European Union. The authors consider and compare the drafting processes to date for the all-island Charter of Rights and the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights, both of which were promised in the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement but remain outstanding. The authors emphasize the importance of inclusive and deliberative drafting processes, and offer this as a potential pathway out of the prevailing political stasis surrounding both documents.
This issue of the TJI SSRN journal reflects the longstanding commitments and priorities of the TJI, to produce world-leading academic research, connected to and shaping contemporary debates in the field, while remaining engaged with the needs of practitioners and policy-makers and the local Northern Ireland context.
All contributions are available in full and open access. We welcome feedback, comments and questions, both on individual papers and on the overall issue.