Launching the Spring Issue of the Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper Series on SSRN

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, Thomas Obel Hansen considers the Policy Paper of the ICC on preliminary examinations and its potential to advance ‘positive complementarity’ between the operation of the court and the domestic pursuit of justice for conflict victims. At a time of apparent crisis for the court, scholarship such as Hansen’s that addresses this critical relationship between its operation and broader domestic impacts is critical. Aisling Swaine, the leading global expert in National Action Plans (NAPs) for Women, Peace and Security, examines relevant practice to date in the Asia-Pacific region. She demonstrates an exciting new methodology for gender-responsive planning, which has relevance well beyond the specifics of Asia Pacific, namely the ‘Gender Needs Analysis Tool’. Likewise, the findings, conclusions and recommendations offer immediate policy relevance to the current 63 UN member states with NAPs on Women, Peace and Security, as well as those currently developing or reviewing NAPs.

Contributions by Catherine O’Rourke and the joint article by Anne Smith, Monica McWilliams and Priyamvada Yarnell both address the question of international human rights obligations and their current and potential impact on Northern Ireland. Catherine O’Rourke, in research from the DFID-funded Political Settlements Research Programme, considers the recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice, Reparations and Guarantees of Non-recurrence on his country visit to Northern Ireland. She identifies the potential for the report to positively re-shape both the diagnostic (defining the problem) and prognostic (identifying the solutions) framing of the vexed issue of how to deliver accountability for past conflict killings and harms in Northern Ireland. Finally, Anne Smith, Monica McWilliams and Priyamvada Yarnell engage with the highly topical challenges of protecting human rights in Northern Ireland as the UK advances its withdrawal from the European Union. In a timely and important contribution, the authors consider how the long-promised Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland might finally be advanced as part of broader efforts to ensure continued human rights protections in the midst of Brexit.

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Go On! Summer School on Transitional Justice, Ulster University (deadline 13 March)

The Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) has announced its 8th annual Summer School on Transitional Justice on the theme of Gendering the Practices of Post-Conflict Resolution: Investigations, Reparations and Communal Repair.

The Summer School will be held from 22-26 June 2015 at the Jordanstown campus of the Ulster University, located on the north shore of Belfast Lough, Northern Ireland. The Summer School is a week-long residential course, consisting of a series of interactive lectures, workshops and roundtable discussions.  It is aimed at both postgraduate students and practitioners working in the field of transitional justice and human rights.

The academic component of the summer school is also complemented by a social programme which provides the opportunity for participants to get to know a little about the local area. A number of social events such as: a murals tour in Belfast, film screenings and a Summer School dinner at Belfast Castle are included in the programme.

A programme outline and application details can be found at http://www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk/SummerSchool2015.htm.

New Degree Program on Gender, Conflict and Human Rights

An unusual new degree program at the Transitional Justice Institute is worth a mention.  The Master’s degree in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights  is taught in the post-conflict setting of Northern Ireland, by a specialized faculty at the Transitional Justice Institute, many of whom are deeply involved in advancing women’s rights issues in post-conflict societies around the world.

The program will be delivered at the Jordanstown campus on a full-time (one year) or part-time (two+ years) basis.  The programme will enable you to develop skills highly relevant to legal practice, and to gender policy, research and advocacy roles. Successful completion may also open up a range of further study and research options. Modules include: Gender and Human Rights; Gender and Transition; Dissertation Research Methods; Foundations in International Human Rights Law or Foundations of Transitional Justice; Policing and Human Rights; Memory, Transition and Conflict; Political Violence, ‘Wars on Terror’ and the Law; International Criminal Justice; Critical Perspectives on Human Rights. Entry Conditions: Applications are invited from graduates in Law (or a related discipline with relevant experience) who have attained or are about to attain a second class honours classification. Further information on acceptable equivalent qualifications is available at www.ulster.ac.uk/prospectus

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