Forthcoming Events 


London Transitional Justice Network and Security in Transition, LSE

Writing Past Wrongs? Justice, Transition and Literature

Date:  Monday, 17 October 2016

Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm

Venue: CLM.2.05, 2nd floor, Clement House, LSE

Speaker: Michael Newman, LMU/NYU  

Discussant: Ruti Teitel, NYLS/LSE
Chair: Iavor Rangelov, LSE

What is lost when past atrocities are addressed through a set of processes and procedures and transitional justice becomes confined to the spheres of politics and law? And what might be gained when the artistic and intellectual resources of literature are harnessed to interrogate injustice, transition and justice? In his new book, Six Authors in Search of Justice: Engaging with Political Transitions, Michael Newman explores such questions through a discussion of the lives and works of six writers: Victor Serge in Stalinist Russia, Albert Camus in Vichy France, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in colonial and post-colonial Kenya, Jorge Semprún in Spain under Franco, Ariel Dorfman in Chile under Pinochet, and Nadine Gordimer in apartheid South Africa. Each lived under a brutal regime, took substantial risks in order to contribute to its overthrow, and survived a transition to a new regime. Each thought deeply about the evolving situation with viewpoints derived from a combination of lived experience and intellectual and artistic creation.

This event will discuss the largely neglected cultural dimension of transitional justice. It will consider how literature can often reveal forms of oppression that may be ‘invisible’ in social science and how its insights can enrich our understanding of the issues that transitional justice seeks to address.

Michael Newman is Emeritus Professor of Politics at London Metropolitan University and now teaches at New York University in London. His previous books include Humanitarian Intervention: Confronting the Contradictions (2009), Socialism: A Very Short Introduction (2005), and Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left (2002).

Ruti Teitel is the Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. Her previous books include Globalizing Transitional Justice (2014), Humanity’s Law (2012), and Transitional Justice (2000).

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. A map of the LSE is available at |

TUESDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2016, 18.00-20.00

Guarantees of non-recurrence: the future of dealing with the past 

A public lecture by Pablo de Greiff

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence

Pablo de Greiff became UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence on 1 May 2012. Since 2015 he is Senior Fellow and Director of the Transitional Justice Program at the Centre for human rights and global justice at the School of Law, New York University.

De Greiff’s career has always combined academic research and involvement with policy issues. Before becoming the Director of Research at International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) a position he held from 2001 to 2014, he was a tenured professor in Philosophy, published extensively on transitions to democracy, democratic theory, and the relationship between morality, politics, and law, edited ten books, and continues to lecture in many countries and universities across Europe, the Americas, and Africa. He has also provided advice to a wide range of Governments, the UN and non-governmental organizations, particularly victims’ organizations, truth commissions and multilateral institutions in the area of transitional justice, gender issues and the linkages between justice, security and development.

This public lecture is part of a series of events celebrating the

10th anniversary of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict

Co-sponsored by the London Transitional Justice Network: 

Room USG19/20, 18th October 6-8pm

A brief reception will follow

University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, Stratford E15 1NF 

Please contact Sally Holt for further information: 


UCL Institute of the Americas and London Transitional Justice Network

Panel discussion: Colombia’s Peace Agreement: Challenges of Implementation

Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Time: 5:30 – 7:00

Venue: Room 103, UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

Speakers:  Grace Livingstone (Cambridge), Nick Morgan (Newcastle), Louise Winstanley (ABColombia)

Chair: Par Engstrom (UCL)

This event offers an opportunity to take stock of the many challenges facing the implementation phase of the recently concluded peace agreement between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC) in Colombia. Organised shortly after the scheduled plebiscite on Sunday 2 October, this panel discussion with three renowned experts on the longstanding Colombian armed conflict and its multifaceted drivers and consequences will provide an assessment of the election result, as well as reflections on what ‘peace’ may mean for Colombian society. Central areas of the peace agreements to be covered include Colombia’s drug economy, regional dimensions of peace and conflict, gender aspects of the peace agreement, as well as the innovative approaches to the peace talks that made the agreement possible.

Dr Grace Livingstone is a research fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, and teaches at the Centre of Latin American Studies, Cambridge.  She is also a journalist and has reported for the BBC World Service, The Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and The Observer. She is the author of Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War and America's Backyard: Latin America and the United States from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Drugs. She recently contributed a chapter on drugs and criminal organisations to the Routledge Handbook on South American Governance which will be published in 2017.

Dr Nick Morgan is Director of the MA in Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies at Newcastle University. His work has focused on political discourse, the politics of race, and participatory democracy in Colombia. For the last five years he has been engaged in ethnographic work on community organisation and political culture in Quibdó in the department of Chocó on the Pacific coast. In November 2015 and March 2016 he carried out pilot work in Colombia with a team of researchers from the UK and Colombia as part of a major comparative study of the local imaginaries of conflict and post-conflict in Colombia, Northern Ireland, Argentina, Indonesia and Algeria.

Louise Winstanley is the Programme and Advocacy Manager of ABColombia, the advocacy platform of 5 major British and Irish development agencies working in Colombia. Louise has worked on the issues of human rights and sustainable development in Colombia for the last 12 years, two of which were spent working in-country. She has an MSc in Globalisation and Latin American Development.

Dr Par Engstrom is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at UCL Institute of the Americas and co-chair of the London Transitional Justice Network.

Attendance is free of charge but registration is required:

IMPORTANT NOTE on access to 51 Gordon Square: in order to secure the smooth delivery of the lectures or presentations, and for ease of logistics, access may be restricted after the start of the event. We will endeavour to accommodate late arrivals within our possibilities, but an early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment.


Courts in Conflict: Interpreting the Layers of Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda

Date: Thursday, 20 October 2016

Time: 5:00 – 6:30

Venue: Room 4426 (Main College Buildings)

Speaker: Nicolar Palmer (King's)

Chair: Leslie Vinjamuri (SOAS)

Hosted by the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice

 The rise of international criminal trials has been accompanied by a call for domestic responses to extraordinary violence. Yet there is remarkably limited research on the interactions among local, national, and international transitional justice institutions. Rwanda offers an early example of multi-level post-conflict courts operating in concert. This seminar will examine these pluralist responses to atrocity at a juncture when holistic approaches are rapidly becoming the policy norm.

The discussion draws on the recent publication of ‘Courts in Conflict’, a monograph that focuses on the practices of Rwanda's post-genocide criminal courts. Although the courts are compatible in law, an interpretive cultural analysis shows how and why they have often conflicted in practice. This study is based on 182 interviews with judges, lawyers, and a group of witnesses and suspects within the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the national Rwandan courts, and the gacaca community courts. It shows how the different interpretations of Rwanda’s transitional justice processes help explain the courts’ failures in effective cooperation and evidence gathering. The potential for similar competition between domestic and international justice processes is apparent in the current practice of the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, this competition can be mitigated through increased communication among the different sites of justice, fostering legal cultures of complementarity that more effectively respond to the needs of affected populations.

Dr Nicola Palmer is as a senior lecturer in criminal law at King's College London. She is the author of ‘Courts in Conflict: Interpreting the Layers of Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda’ (OUP, 2015) and recently guest edited a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society on the methods used to formulate, implement and assess transitional justice processes. Nicola was previously the Global Justice Research Fellow at St Anne’s College, Oxford and convenor of the Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) network. She received her DPhil in law from the University of Oxford in 2011. Prior to this, she worked at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, following her undergraduate in law and economics at Rhodes University, South Africa.



UCL Institute of the Americas and London Transitional Justice Network

Book launch:  Transitional Justice in Latin America: The Uneven Road from Impunity towards Accountability (Routledge, 2016)

Editors: Elin Skaar, Jemima García-Godos, and Cath Collins

Date: Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Time: 6:00 – 8:00

Venue: Room 103, UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

Speaker:  Cath Collins, Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, and Universidad Diego Portales, Chile

Discussants: Pilar Domingo (Overseas Development Institute), and Par Engstrom (UCL)

This event is the launch of the recently published Transitional Justice in Latin America: The Uneven Road from Impunity towards Accountability (Routledge, 2016). Professor Cath Collins, one of the book’s editors, will be joined by Dr Pilar Domingo and Dr Par Engstrom to discuss the main findings of this 3 year, inter-regional research project as well as its main implications for research and policy on transitional justice in Latin America and beyond.

Transitional Justice in Latin America is the first book to comprehensively and systematically trace recent trajectories from impunity towards accountability for past human rights violations in Latin America. Based on rich analysis, the international team of authors track, across time, the accountability achievements and challenges of nine countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Historical analysis is visually represented in graphs that track country milestones in accountability on four different transitional justice dimensions (truthtelling, prosecutions, the overcoming of amnesties, and reparations). While accountability levels in all countries are found to be higher today than when transitions or peace processes began in the 1980s, the movement is non-linear, with occasional backsliding, and most progress occurring after 2000. Factors that help explain these trajectories include political will; civil society demands; independent courts, judges, and prosecutors; and the role of the inter-American human rights system. Importantly, the mere presence or absence of amnesty laws is not found to be decisive. Innovative country trajectory graphs, cross-country graphs and ‘accountability triangles’ visually sum up the book’s findings, making complex realities easily accessible to the reader. The book will be of much interest to scholars in the fields of transitional justice and peacebuilding, as well as students generally concerned with human rights and democratisation.

Professor Cath Collins has been Professor of Transitional Justice at Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute since March 2013. She was previously Associate Professor of Politics at the Universidad Diego Portales, Chile, where she founded and still directs the Transitional Justice Observatory (ex ‘Human Rights Observatory’’). The Observatory (, Observatorio JT) maps current justice, truth and memory developments in Chile over the Pinochet-era dictatorship; works closely with relatives’ associations and with forensic, judicial and legal professionals, and is a founder member of the Latin American Transitional Justice Network Prof Collins’s previous publications include the books 'The Politics of Memory in Chile' (co-edited) and 'Post-Transitional Justice: Human Rights Trials in Chile and El Salvador'. She has also produced manuals and workshop materials for relatives’ associations, lawyers, judicial personnel, the forensic service and detective police, and is currently involved in a UK-Chile exchange project to assist in the search for victims of disappearance.  She teaches and supervises in the UK and Chile on Latin American politics, international criminal justice, human rights, and transitional justice. She holds a PhD from the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London (2004), and was the Chatham House Research Fellow for Latin America (2005-2007). Her first and masters' degrees are from the universities of Cambridge, London, Lancaster, and Queens’ Belfast.

Dr Pilar Domingo joined ODI as Research Fellow in the Politics and Governance team in January of 2009. Previously she was at the Institute for the Study of the Americas of the University of London, and prior to that at the University of Salamanca in Spain. She has a D.Phil in Politics, and has published in the areas of: accountability, rule of law, and justice sector reform; rights-based citizenship and legal empowerment for vulnerable groups through rights claims; transitional justice, and democratization, institutional reform and state-building. Her region of expertise is Latin America. Since joining ODI she has worked on a number of rights, governance and state-building issues, increasingly in connection to situations of fragility. She leads on work on rule of law and justice sector reform, and transitional justice processes. Her recent work includes: contributing to OECD-DAC guidance on state-building in fragile states; leading a report on children and women's rights in Kenya under the new Constitution of 2010; research on justice and security reforms in fragile settings; the challenges of working with non-state actors and institutions in fragile settings.

Dr Par Engstrom is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at UCL Institute of the Americas and co-chair of the London Transitional Justice Network. 

Attendance is free of charge but registration is required:

IMPORTANT NOTE on access to 51 Gordon Square: in order to secure the smooth delivery of the lectures or presentations, and for ease of logistics, access may be restricted after the start of the event. We will endeavour to accommodate late arrivals within our possibilities, but an early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment.


Accountability for Mass Atrocities in Syria and Beyond

Safra Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor) Strand Campus
27/06/2016 (12:00-13:30)
Chair: Dr Rachel Kerr

Registration URL

Ambassador Stephen Rapp is a Distinguished Fellow for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Hague Institute for Global Justice. He served as Ambassador-at-Large heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. State Department from 2009 to 2015 where he coordinated US government support to international criminal tribunals, to the International Criminal Court, and to hybrid and national courts responsible for prosecuting persons charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.  From January 2007 to September 2009, Ambassador Rapp was the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) responsible for the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and others, and prior to that he served as a Senior Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Discussant: Dr Leslie Vinjamuri (SOAS)

Dr Leslie Vinjamuri is Co-Director of the Centre for the International Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice and a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at SOAS, University of London. She is co-editor of Human Rights Futures (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press) and a contributor to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences project on New Dilemmas in Ethics, Technology, and War. Dr Vinjamuri is on the Council of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs where she is also an Associate Fellow on the US Programme.

The London Transitional Justice Network (LTJN) is an inter-university and interdisciplinary network of scholars, practitioners and policymakers from the wider London area (and beyond) who have research interests in the politics, policies and processes of transitional justice.

The War Crimes Research Group (WCRG) brings together researchers and practitioners across a range of disciplines and encourages diverse approaches to the study of war crimes and war. Follow us @WarCrimesKCL