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English course description
Anno accademico
Crediti formativi
Periodo didattico
Secondo Semestre

Obiettivi formativi

The lecture will provide an overview of fundamental principles of Transitional Justice and International Criminal Justice. It will deal with the concept of transition, its relationship with international law, and different mechanisms of Transitional Justice. A special focus is laid on prosecution and International Criminal Justice as a very important option to deal with past injustices. For this purpose, the historical evolution of international criminal law, the core crimes,
such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, are discussed. Current international case law will be covered just as the various modes of enforcement, including prosecution of international crimes before national courts. In addition, the structure and functioning of Truth Commissions will be analysed. The course will also include country studies on transitional processes in particular.

Students will acquire an overall understanding of Transitional Justice and International Criminal Justice and be able to discuss various issues in this field.
They will learn about different transitional justice processes in different countries. Students will deal with criticism voiced against the International Criminal Court, new developments on the African continent with regard to international criminal justice and transitional justice, post-colonial debates and
current jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court. They will also learn how to use and interpret the Rome Statute, other international documents, and judgements of international tribunals.


Advanced English language skills; basic knowledge in international law beneficial

Contenuti del corso

Course programme

I. Introduction to Transitional Justice
1. Introduction to Transitional Justice I
2. Introduction to Transitional Justice II
II. Prosecutions – International Criminal Justice
3. Evolution of International Criminal Justice
4. Concepts, Tasks, and Legitimacy of International Criminal Law
5. The Nuremberg Judgement
6. The International Criminal Court
7. Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
8. War Crimes and the Crime of Aggression
III. Transitional Justice – Country Studies
9. Germany: Prosecution of Nazi Atrocities
10. Germany: State Criminality in the former German Democratic Republic
11. South Africa: Truth Commissions
12. Rwanda: Prosecution of Genocide

Metodi didattici

The course consists of interactive lectures accompanied by powerpoint presentations. During lectures, reference will be made to especially the Rome Statute, other international documents, and jurisprudence of international tribunals. After lecture, summaries and recommendations for further reading
will be provided.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Oral exam

Testi di riferimento

Olivera Simic, An Introduction to Transitional Justice, 2016, Routledge, London
Gerhard Werle/Florian Jeßberger, Principles of International Criminal Law, 3rd
edition, 2014, OUP, Oxford