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Summer School on Transitional Justice

The Summer School on Transitional Justice, established in 2006, takes place during the summer in the Transitional Justice Institute 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, a public lecture and a closing dinner at Belfast Castle are included in the programme.

Scholarships are available each year for both international and local participants. Read how recent scholarship recipients benefited from attending the summer school.

Messina Manirakaza

“I was extremely honored to be selected for the summer school ‘Women and Political Settlements: International, Regional and Local Approaches to Peacemaking’ last June. I had a lot of expectations and I can assure you that they were all met. The summer school was a great learning opportunity through which I not only had a chance to learn from other practitioners but also share my insights and experience about women and political settlements. I gained a lot from the interaction with competent and experienced lecturers and presenters on transitional justice, gender and conflicts and principles on Women, Peace and Security.

The multicultural environment of the summer school was a great forum to discuss best practices and challenges on how women can influence political settlements and how they can strategically move within existing legal-political and security frameworks and mandates. Practical discussions with professionals from many countries, the exchange of ideas and a peep into ground realities of the situation of women in conflict situations but also local approaches of women’s peacemaking were very helpful.

The methodology used was combining a theoretical but also a practical one and I liked in particular how the experiences’ sharing with women who were at the forefront of peace negotiations and political settlement in Northern Ireland as academicians but also as civil society activists and those who work to support victims and survivors of the conflict. It was a global experience which allowed me to sharpen my critical thinking on how international law can be used by women internally to achieve change in their communities, the aspects in which gender violence is a key part of political settlements and ways through which institutions can be transformed using gender lens to be more effective.

The experience was very relevant to my work as a community focused researcher on transitional justice and gender justice but it’s also very pertinent to my personal engagement for peace and security in Burundi as a part of a group of women working towards a more inclusive peaceful and effective political settlement of the Burundian crisis. I am extremely grateful for the support given by the Transitional Justice Institute and the Political Settlements Research Program.”

Prativa Khanal

‘Transitional Justice Institute Summer School was a platform for me to explore the new dimensions of transitional justice with special focus on global issues surrounding UNSCRs 1325 and 1820. I was really fascinated as to how the course made me acquainted with the women’s involvement with special focus to Northern Ireland peace process. The highly interactive lectures and discussions among participants from varied geographical diversity have instilled within me a sense of dedication to work for the conflict affected women and girls (CAW&Gs) in Nepal like always. The course has directly impacted my performance in work as I am currently working for the CAW&Gs including victims/survivors of sexual and gender based violence. Learning from participants from other (post) conflict countries, I have, to a great extent, felt the importance of participating in this program as I have been more sensitive and confident in handling these issues based on justifications arising from principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. I am really thankful to the Ulster University and Political Settlements Research Program in providing me with the opportunity to participate in the course with a full scholarship or else I would not have afforded the program financially and missed the life-changing opportunity.’

Shyamala Gomez

‘The Summer Course on ‘Women and Political Settlements: International, Regional and Local Approaches to Peacemaking’ at the Summer School on Transitional Justice at the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University was held in June 2016. I was privileged to attend. The course was taught by a number of global scholars, well known in the field. It was an enriching experience in many ways.

I met some wonderful women (and a few men!) from around the world united by the work we do with women in our own countries – as scholars, activists, lawyers and development workers. The diverse backgrounds of the participants and their experiences enriched the ‘TJI experience’ further. The course covered many relevant areas of interest and the lectures were interactive and rich in content. The sessions on the gendered nature of peacemaking were interesting and will be useful in my work on women and peace building back in Sri Lanka. I also found particularly interesting the session on the link between domestic violence and the Northern Ireland conflict, an area that needs more research in Sri Lanka.

A highlight for me was the visit to the ‘Bridge of Hope’ organization, which works with survivors of the conflict and their families. The academic learning was left aside for the afternoon and we were able to understand the lived experience of the conflict. Another highlight was the Murals Tour, which gave us a deeper understanding of the manner in which the people of Northern Ireland want to remember the conflict and its impact. I also enjoyed the session on UNSCR 1325 which will assist me in the work I do in the FOKUS Programme. Thank you to the TJI team that organized the course.’

TJI Summer School 2019

If you are interested in attending the 2019 Summer School, please email Sadie Magee at s.magee@ulster.ac.uk so that you can be added to our mailing list.

Previous themes

The Summer School on Transitional Justice has previously examined the following themes.

2017

Gender, Conflict and Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism: International, Regional and Local Dimensions

2016

Women and Political Settlements: International, Regional and Local Approaches to Peacemaking

2015

Gendering the Practices of Post-Conflict Resolution:Investigations, Reparations and Communal Repair

2014

Addressing Sexual Violence and Gendered Harm in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings: Addressing Enforcement, Essentialism and Masculinities

2013

Peace Negotiations, Peace Mediation and Influencing Implementation: Engaging Women and Gender

2012

Gender, Conflict and UNSCR 1325