Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Theme to be announced

The dates will be published in September 2015


Welcome to the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Summer School page. The summer school focuses on a different theme within the field of human rights and transitional justice each year. Past themes included Truth, Justice and Rule of Law Reform (2012), Human Rights Fact-Finding, Evidence and International Crimes (2013) and Regional Responses to Conflict (2014), and  Justice, Reparations and Development (2015). The theme for the 2016 edition will be announced soon. 


The relationship between human rights, transitional justice and development requires fresh attention. While justice is increasingly understood in a broader sense, involving social, economic, cultural and legal dimensions, it is unhelpful to adopt a functionalist view under which area is treated as an instrument of the other. Justice actors are not development agents, nor are development actors necessarily best agents for accountability, truth or reparations. The different fields may conflict with each other. Making development assistance contingent on rule of law reform may be counterproductive, since it may create dependencies or discrepancies in relation to needs of protection or other more pressing socio-economic needs (health, education, access to resources etc.). Conversely, promoting justice through instruments of development may have significant downsides. As evidenced in the transitional justice context, awarding reparation through development programmes may leave victims with a feeling that their suffering is not sufficiently recognized. More work is required to identify how the mutual synergies between these fields may be used most effectively to the benefit of all of them. This is the central inquiry of this Summer School. It explores linkages, as well as tensions between justice processes, reparations and development.

Course Faculty

The following guest speakers lectured at the 2015 edition:


2015 Sessions

Introduction to Transitional Justice

Marieke Wierda

Transitional Justice and Development: Fostering the Connection
Roger Duthie

Enhancing Justice and Development: Institutional reform and guarantees of non-recurrence
Roger Duthie

The Nexus between Reparations and Development
Kate Orlovsky

The Trust Fund For Victims: Responding to the Harm Suffered by Victims of Crimes Under the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
Pieter de Baan

Criminal Justice and the Protection of Socio-Economic and Cultural Rights
Evelyne Schmid

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and Socio-Economic Rights
Prof. William Schabas

Complementarity and Development: Key Challenges
Marieke Wierda

The Impact of Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions on Peacebuilding and Legal and Institutional Reform
Paul Seils

National Prosecutions and the Peace Process in Colombia
Paul Seils

UNDP In-Country Work on Rule of Law Reform
Djordje Djordjevic

UN/UNDP Global Policies Related to the Transitional Justice and Development Nexus
Djordje Djordjevic

International Justice, sustainable development and the protection of natural resources
Dr. Sam Adelman

International Justice and Environmental Damage
Matthew Gillet

Panel: Transitional Justice and Development: The Way Forward
Professor Carsten Stahn, Leiden University, Mathew Gillet, ICTY, Dr. Sam Abdelman, Warwick University, and  Djordje Djordjevic, UNDP. 

Course Materials

Participants will receive a copy of the book Transitional Justice and Development: Making Connections, edited by Pablo de Greiff and Roger Duthie. Other course materials will be posted on a digital learning environment (Blackboard). Participants will receive a Leiden University Network account to access the Blackboard site.

The participants will also receive a welcome pack upon arrival, including information about Leiden University and The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice.


The participants will receive a certificate of participation after completion of the programme. Furthermore, we can issue a statement regarding the amount of ECTS credits we would assign to this course, based on the number of hours in class, preparation time and assignments, keeping in mind that 1 ECTS equals 28 hours of study. Your university can then evaluate this course and decide whether they will indeed award ECTS credits.

Voices of the summer school

"An excellent panel of teachers. A great diversity & coverage of topics. A great diversity of views by speakers"

"The various backgrounds of the participants as well as their knowledge made the course much more interesting, not to mention the very high level of expertise brought by the speakers”

"Outstanding speakers, very honest and open"

"Excellent staff, assistants and food”

"Absolutely worth every cent. A great mix of famous and highly experienced speakers, well-planned program structure and variety of exposure trips/exercises. Highly recommended for Legal Advisers and human rights practitioners”

"What I really appreciate about this Summer School is the complexity of the Program, because it was very professional from an educational point of view and also good organized in a very enjoyable experience”

Course fees

Tuition fees for the 2016 session will be announced soon.

The fee includes lunches and refreshments on class days, course materials, a thematic film screening, field trips to international institutions in The Hague, a welcome dinner and a farewell dinner at the beach.

Please note that the accommodation is not included in the course fee and it will not be arranged by The Grotius Centre. Please visit the page of the Leiden University Housing Office to learn more about short-stay options in Leiden and The Hague.

A limited number of fee waivers are available for this course. If you wish to apply for a fee waiver, please send us a separate request in which you clearly state why you should be considered for the fee-waiver.


The application form for the 2016 session will be posted in September 2015.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at for additional information.


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