The Geoffrey Nice Foundation
Law, History, Politics and Society in the Context of Mass Atrocities
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“Transitional, Post-Transitional and Strategic Narratives about the Yugoslav Wars: from Quest for Justice to Geo-Political Power Games”
The Geoffrey Nice Foundation - along with the Research Centre for Human Rights of the Rochester Institute of Technology and other local partners in Kosovo - organised the three-day conference on the topic:
“Transitional, Post-Transitional and Strategic Narratives about the Yugoslav Wars: from Search for Justice to Geo-Political Power Games.”
The topic of the conference covered the current geopolitical developments in the southeast of Europe after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Recognising that the disintegration of the Yugoslav federation has still not been finalised, the organisers have invited experts – practitioners and academics – to discuss the various aspects of transitional processes that have a potential of influencing geopolitics in the region.
The conference explored the tensions between the societal needs for justice and peace and the political elites’ struggle to achieve security and stability in the region. “How much justice” is enough for a post-conflict society to move on? Prominent speakers, such as Dr. Nevenka Tromp, Sir Geoffrey Nice, Lord Iain Bonomy and Ben Emmerson, who worked in on the international criminal cases dealing with the crimes committed in Kosovo in the 1990s; gave their assessment of what justice we can expect from criminal justice. The other experts dealt with the interplay between justice and politics by examining different strategic motivations of the actors involved in the creation of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC): a court which was created in 2015 and is situated in The Hague. Dr. Robert Muharremi, Prof.dr. Visar Morina and Dr. Gjylieta Mushkolaj assessed the domestic and international legal mandate of the KSC and its mandate to investigate and prosecute the alleged “organ harvesting” and other crimes that took place some 20 years ago in Kosovo. Finally, the speakers such as Sonja Biserko, Daniel Serwer, Gëzim Visoka and Aidan Hehir assessed the geopolitical consequences of the legal, historical, societal and political narratives that often complement and contradict each other; depending on which strategic goal they serve.
The event took place between 22nd and 24th November, 2019 at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Kosovo (address: Dr. Shpetim Robaj n.n. 1000 Prishtina, Kosovo)
Live Stream Links:
22nd November 2019:
23rd November 2019:
6th GNF Master Class: Mapping, Documenting and Prosecuting Mass Atrocities
The 6th GNF Master Class was held from 01 to 12 July 2019 at the Inter-University Centre (IUC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
See the Report for further information.
Brammertz’s observations about closing of ICTY - critisized
I am surprised to read ICTY Chief Prosecutor Brammertz’s observations about links made at the Tribunal between crimes committed in Bosnia and Croatia and the state of Serbia.
I am surprised to read ICTY Chief Prosecutor Brammertz’s observations about links made at the Tribunal between crimes committed in Bosnia and Croatia and the state of Serbia. He cites no court decisions. The indictment policy of the tribunal let Serbia off the hook. There was no serious effort in the Karadzic or Mladic cases to prove the links and judgments in both cases allow Serbia to claim itself to be an uninvolved party and that Bosnia Serbs were barely worse than other perpetrators.
How this came about is hard to explain although none of the prosecutors, except me, tried properly to prove those links and the case I prosecuted, Milošević, ended with Milošević’s death, apparently from natural causes convenient though that was to all Serbian and International interests.
“Political Expediency behind International Criminal Courts”
The 5th GNF Master Class was held from 02 to 13 July 2018 at the Inter-University Centre for Post-Graduate Studies (IUC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
See the Report below for further information.
“Law and Politics of Terrorism: In Search of Adequate Political, Military and Legal Responses to the Threat of Terrorism in the Post-Cold War Era"
This annual Master Class, the fourth since 2014, was held between 03 July and 14 July 2017 at the Inter-University Centre (IUC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is a joint venture by the Geoffrey Nice Foundation, the University of Amsterdam and the Serbian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.
"Beyond the Reach of Law: Emerging World Order and the Search for Adequate Responses to Political Violence“
This Master Class addressed the new challenges humanity has been facing after the end of the Cold War 25 years ago. It explored military, political, diplomatic, humanitarian and legal responses to political violence and mass atrocities in armed conflicts and in state oppression based on four case studies – Iran, North Korea, Gaza and the Balkans.
“Law and Politics of Genocide: 20 Years After Srebrenica"
The work done by international and national criminal tribunals dealing with mass atrocities has highlighted the need to research the impact of legal proceedings concerned with war crimes on historical and other interpretations of the causes and consequences of armed conflicts and of the atrocities committed in armed conflicts.
Interested in our upcomming activities?
Geoffrey Nice Foundation
The objective of the Foundation is to advance a multidisciplinary understanding of International Criminal Justice delivered by courts, truth commissions and in other ways. The Foundation seeks to achieve its goals through training and education programmes, together with other activities, which embrace legal, historical, political and sociological disciplines and their respective methodologies. It operates with students, researchers and academics of these disciplines from different countries, studying and working together. Master Classes take place annually under the general title “Law, History, Politics, and Society in the Context of Mass Atrocities” with different specific programmes for each year.Read More
The accommodation for the course was well organized. Most of the students were accommodated in a beautiful cloister within walking distance of the Inter University Centre. The fact that the students came from all over the world, even including North-Korea, made for an incredible interesting atmosphere. During classes and in leisure time, different political and legal views based on peoples origin were exchanged. The variety of eminent speakers; human rights activists, a British army general and an American diplomat, judges, etc., made that the students were offered a broad view of certain political and legal issues. Additionally, I specifically enjoyed the lunch discussions where we were offered a chance to have more in depth discussions with the lecturers over a good meal.
Daniel J.H. Wand
It was one rich in knowledge, enthusiasm and personal experience from which I certainly benefitted personally and I know many others did too. It also provided an excellent opportunity to meet and speak with people whom I would not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise, and to make personal and professional contacts for the future.
The programme that had been prepared, no doubt tirelessly, for the Masterclass was as diverse as it was interesting. I very much enjoyed hearing about issues and topics which I had never read or thought much about before such as the Iranian revolution or the history of the Former Yugoslavia. We had the opportunity to hear from a large number of speakers, many of whom were experts in their field and all of whom brought with them different information, perspectives and experiences which created a rich pool of knowledge on which we could draw.
Namely, I found this Master Class to be very useful for several reasons. Firstly, due to the knowledge presented about conflicts and mass atrocities in different regions along with their legal, historical, social and political backgrounds, transitional justice mechanisms, as well as impact and limitations of international criminal law.
During the first part of 2017, I assumed I will have a usual Summer (summer trip, vacation, etc.), but in April I got email from Geoffrey Nice Foundation. I was received on Master Class on Law and Politics of Terrorism. I was very glad, happy and full of expectations.
When I arrived in Dubrovnik, I was very scared. Firstly, I didn't know anybody there. Moreover, I was the youngest.
However, after first day I felt a relief, people was nice, lessons were excellent and whole organization was very professional. During two weeks I learnt a lot about terrorism and I had opportunity to spoke with most relevant experts from whole world about it.
I’ve had the pleasure to attend the Fourth Master Class of the Geoffrey Nice Foundation through the University of Amsterdam. The Master Class, held in the first two weeks of July 2017, brought together over 25 people from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds, from British barristers to Turkish journalists. In two weeks’ time, we listened to lectures and worked on case studies related to the various facets of terrorism and other forms of political violence. This led to interesting and sometimes heated discussions both inside and outside the seminar, and gave us the opportunity to learn from each other’s academic and professional expertise.
The course was a demanding one in terms of the sheer breadth of topics covered and the number of speakers/seminars per day. Over the two weeks participants discussed topics including: Post Cold War Political Violence and the History of Terrorism, The Foreign Fighter Phenomenon and Responses by European States, The Background and Legitimacy of the Kosovo Special Court, Is the West’s Response to Terrorism Appropriate?, Law and Politics of The Crime of Aggression, The Tension between Law, Justice, Truth and History Writing as well as Business and Terrorism.