With the increasing call for and formation of truth commissions, trials, and other justice mechanisms worldwide, the concept of ‘transitional justice’ has become widespread. Peacebuilding actors face immense challenges when assisting societies devastated by conflict or emerging from repressive rule to re-establish the rule of law and confront large-scale human rights violations. Over the years, the United Nations has acquired significant experience in developing the rule of law and pursuing transitional justice in States emerging from conflict or repressive rule. Experience has demonstrated that promoting reconciliation and consolidating peace in the long-term necessitates the establishment or re-establishment of an effective governing administrative and justice system founded on respect for the rule of law and the protection of human rights.
For the United Nations system, transitional justice is “the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation.” Transitional justice processes and mechanisms are therefore a critical component of the United Nations framework for strengthening the rule of law in peacebuilding contexts.
The goal of the course Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding is to present the concept of transitional justice in peacebuilding contexts, providing a holistic overview of current strategies and mechanisms, their nature and practical application, and the challenges and lessons learned that various actors may encounter and apply when participating in peace operations in post-conflict settings.
At the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Illustrate the broad concept of transitional justice, its key elements and mechanisms, and its role in postconflict peacebuilding contexts;
- Outline the reasons for taking a holistic approach to transitional justice;
- Develop a transitional justice strategy selecting the most appropriate among the different mechanisms, according to broad theories and case examples;
- Relate transitional justice mechanisms to other peacebuilding activities; and
- Summarize best practices, lessons learned and the way forward in transitional justice.
This self-paced course is composed of five modules. At the end of each module there will be a quiz to be passed. To complete the course, you must successfully complete the five quizzes, one for each module.
- Module 1: Introduction to Transitional Justice
- Module 2: Taking a Holistic Approach
- Module 3: Transitional Justice Mechanisms and Strategies
- Module 4: Linkages with other Peacebuilding Activities
- Module 5: Transitional Justice and the Way Forward
The estimated average workload for this course is 20 hours, excluding voluntary assignments.
The course is a self-guided, self-paced, web-based course that is on-going and can be accessed at any time. Multiple choice quizzes at the end of each topic serve a dual function of assessing and evaluating the students’ understanding and retention and provide a further didactic function by reviewing the content. The passing grade for each quiz is 60%. If you pass all five quizzes, you will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Further, voluntary assignments enhance the learning through a practical and scenario-based approach. In this course, these take the form of writing assignments, which are self-graded. Thus, they do not contribute to the final grade. In addition to the narratives, which provide the content of the modules, you will have at your disposal a glossary and a cybrary. A discussion forum provides you with the opportunity to discuss any issues with fellow students.
The course is open to anyone interested in transitional justice and peacebuilding, including practitioners working in post-conflict contexts, field workers, and international volunteers. United Nations Volunteers, holding a valid contract, can benefit from a reimbursement from the UNV Programme. Students are entirely responsible for ensuring their eligibility and requesting their reimbursement directly with the UNV office.
UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:
- Windows XP, 7 or superior;
- MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or superior;
- Intel Core 2 Duo – or AMD – 3 GHz processor;
- 3 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended);
- Hard drive: 160 GB minimum.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader;
- Adobe Flash Player.
- Google Chrome 30.0 or superior;
- Mozilla Firefox 25.0 or superior;
- Safari 7 or superior;
- Internet Explorer 8 or superior.
- Apple iOS in Apple iOS 7 or superior on iPad:
- Articulate Mobile Player;
- Moodle Mobile.
- Android OS in Android OS 4.1 or superior (optimized for tablets):
- Articulate Mobile Player;
- Moodle Mobile.