This week the University of Ulster’s Belfast Campus will play host to the annual international Summer School on Transitional Justice.
Organised by the Transitional Justice Institute, the Summer School brings together practitioners, academics and postgraduate students from around the world to share in a week long programme of interactive seminars and workshops. International participants from countries such as Austria, Colombia, Iceland, Israel, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States will join local participants to exchange knowledge and experience. The theme of this year’s programme is “Peace Negotiations, Peace Mediation and Influencing Implementation: Engaging Women and Gender.”
Transitional justice is a burgeoning area of study and policy, and gender is one of the most prominent sub-themes of transitional justice. Issues of gender and conflict are becoming mainstreamed into the work of the United Nations, and gender inequality is increasingly being recognized as a factor in both causing and sustaining violent conflict. TJI Director Professor Fionnuala NÃ AolÃ¡in said
"It is increasingly recognised that to resolve entrenched conflict women have to be at the table, central to negotiations, and engaged consistently in implementation. Our Summer School is central to knowledge exchange to ensure that happens both in Northern Ireland and elsewhere".
Gender is a key aspect of the research work undertaken at the Transitional Justice Institute, and the high number and quality of applications received for the summer school highlights the international significance of this work.
The Summer School is taught by some of the leading experts in the world on issues related to women's inclusion in conflict negotiations, conflict mediation, reparations and transitional justice including Professor Monica McWilliams, Professor Fionnuala NÃ AolÃ¡in, Dr Catherine O' Rourke, Eilish Rooney, and Dr Khanyisela Moyo. The Summer School is also delighted to welcome visiting speakers Mary McWilliams, Jane Gordon, Dr Aisling Swaine and Dr Sari Kouvo. The Summer School presents a unique opportunity to showcase our research as well as a wealth of practical policy experience at TJI and among its network. This includes a visit to Ashton Community Trust's Bridge of Hope Grassroots Transitional Justice programme. Last year women from Belfast's Falls and Shankill Women's Centres piloted the TJ Grassroots Toolkit with staff from TJI.
Also as part of the Summer School this year, the TJI in cooperation with Amnesty International will host a public panel featuring some of the Summer School participants. The panel “An Alternative G8 view on Conflict, Transition and Gender” takes place on Thursday June 20thin the Belfast campus of the University at 7 pm. Speakers includeKarol Balfe (Ireland); Yasmin Lao (Philippines), Sofi Ospina (Colombia); Emmicki Roos (Sweden) andLee Webster (Britain). According to Summer School Director Professor Rory O’Connell:
“While the G8 leaders have been considering some of the pressing problems in the world, this is an opportune moment to learn from the experience of women who are working to effect real change and to address the problems of conflict and inequality across the world.”
The Summer School academic programme is also complemented by a full social programme which aims to introduce participants to Northern Ireland. The programme includes a visit to Parliament Buildings, where TJI Professor and former MLA Monica McWilliams will speak to participants about the Northern Ireland peace process; a murals tour of Belfast with TJI Co-Director Professor Bill Rolston; a tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol with a panel discussion with ex-prisoners, and a closing dinner in the beautiful surroundings of Belfast Castle.
The Summer School builds on the expertise developed in the Masters programmes of the TJI, including the LLM in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights and the LLM in Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice.
Notes to Editors:
1.The Summer School on Transitional Justice from Monday 17 to Friday 21 June the Belfast Campus University of Ulster.Programme attached.
2.For more information see the TJI website:http://www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk/or like TJI on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TransititionalJusticeInstituteor follow @TJI_ on Twitter.