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Grading Basis: Student Option
How do countries cope with periods of massive human rights abuses committed in the past? What role should the international community play in promoting accountability and reconciliation for such abuses? What is the role of courts, either domestic or international, in such processes? Should countries pass amnesty laws and pardons for human rights offenders to facilitate the consolidation of democracy and should these laws be binding on international courts? This seminar will explore a range of approaches that countries have used, including truth commissions and criminal trials. The seminar will focus on a number of case studies, including South Africa, Guatemala, Rwanda and the Balkans, as well as the impact of international lawsuits such as the Pinochet extradition proceedings between Britain and Spain. We will look at the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court and examine the issues raised by a court with its jurisdiction. Drawing on these examples, students will compare the advantages and disadvantages of international and domestic solutions in each context. Students will be required to write a short book review, a 6-8 page midterm paper and a final paper of 15-20 pages.