Geoffrey Nice Foundation


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.

The Master Classes’ objective is to advance a multidisciplinary approach to understanding political violence and the role of international criminal justice applying legal, historical, political and sociological methodologies.

Brief history of master classes to date

“On Law, History, Politics and Society in the Context of Mass Atrocities”, held from 28 June to 11 July 2014 at the Inter University Centre in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

“Law and Politics of Genocide: 20 Years After Srebrenica”, held from 28 June to 09 July 2015 at the IUC Dubrovnik (Croatia) and from 10 to 12 July 2015 in Srebrenica.

“Conflict Beyond the Reach of Law: Emerging World Order and the Search for Adequate Responses to Political Violence“, held from 03 to 14 July 2016 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

“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,  held from 03 to 14 July 2017 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Description of the Concept

Law: The legal processes used at international criminal courts were initially based on the Common Law’s adversarial system, but, over the years, have incorporated a number of elements from the Civil Law’s inquisitorial system – becoming a hybrid of the two. Establishing guilt or innocence as expressed in judgments is the primary task of all legal processes. To understand what is a legal justice one has to understand the applicable normative system, rules of procedure and legal theories as well as the evidence given at the particular trial. These subjects would normally only be of professional interest to lawyers, judges, scholars and students of law. However when dealing with mass atrocities and political violence there is a growing awareness of a need for a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to research and to the teaching of institutionalised legal responses to mass atrocities.

History: Mass atrocities trials produce extensive trial records that eventually become historical sources. At every war crimes trial, history will inevitably be discussed because, first, all sides – prosecution and all accused – will use the historical background to explain the conflict and its violent nature from their points of view. Second, all sides might call expert witnesses on history to inform or educate the judges about the conflict. Third, every trial record will become a historical source and might contribute to new or extended historical interpretations of the given historical period. Yet, the lawyers and judges may draw very different conclusions from those drawn by historians, despite working from the same trial records.

Politics: New post-conflict political elites will try to interpret the ‘Legal Narrative’ as told in the courtroom and Legal Justice as articulated in court judgments to their own ends. There are different ways for political elites to (ab)use mass atrocities trials in achieving objectives other than justice. They might use trials to influence the processes of shaping collective memory about the conflict or by stressing the wrongdoings and criminality of the ‘other side’ in the conflict while downplaying the role of their own side. They might try to use the existence of war crimes courts to get rid of political rivals by influencing the indictment strategy of the courts – for example, by selectivity in what incriminatory evidence they provide to an international prosecutor from state archives. They may use the mass atrocities trials for immediate political objectives, such as accession to the EU.

Society: What is the impact of mass atrocities trials on post-conflict societies? What is the reaction of the victims, of the Media and of NGOs? How easy or difficult is it for non-specialists to understand legal proceedings and to appreciate the impact of ‘Retributive Justice’, which is perpetrator oriented? What about ‘Restorative Justice’, which is victim oriented? How does one achieve reconciliation in post-conflict societies where the perpetrators and victims remain living close to, or even intermingled with, each other? Should reconciliation be a goal of Retributive Justice at all?

Target Group: MA and PhD students of Law, History, Sociology, Politics, International Relations, Journalism, European Studies and related subjects.


  • Access Europe (Erasmus PLUS), University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Inner Temple Inn, UK
  • Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Lincoln’s Inn, UK
  • Ministry of Education, Croatia
  • Planethood Foundation, UK/USA
  • Private donors


“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, held from 03 to 14 July 2017

The first 25 years after the end of the Cold War have brought various security challenges for national states and the international community. This proliferation of violence – from inter-state wars, civil wars, guerrilla warfare, to terrorism – requires a whole range of mechanisms and responses.

The Master Class 2017 dealt with existing definitions of terrorism which it contrasted with other forms of political violence and warfare. Distinctions were made between armed conflict, guerrilla warfare/insurgency and terrorism. The following case studies were discussed: (1) hybrid warfare where a classical armed conflict, guerrilla warfare and terrorism go hand in hand (example: Syria); (2) guerrilla warfare used by insurgent groups protracted internal conflicts in some states of South America (example: Colombia); (3) terrorist attacks used as a means to destabilise Western democracies (examples: Kenya, Paris, Brussel); (4) international and non-international armed conflicts and the challenges of post-conflict state-building (example: former Yugoslavia).

The lecturers – a combination of academics with backgrounds in law, history, political science and sociology, together with politicians, practising international lawyers and human rights activists – assessed the effectiveness of different responses to these phenomena in order that the participants could consider best ways forward in an increasingly complex and dangerous world.

Course Directors


  • Nevenka Tromp, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Geoffrey Nice, Inner Temple Inn, London, UK

Marie Ursula Kind, Geneva, Switzerland

ORGANISING UNIVERSITIES AND ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS: University of Amsterdam (UvA); Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik, Croatia; Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, London; Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn London.


Participants were divided in six groups of five or six. Each group was assigned in advance two major tasks:

In this group exercise based on a fictitious case study of political violence (the WALKINSHAW case). Participants were instructed to read the WALKINSHAW case material and memorise the details before the start of the course. The case material included: a chronological overview of events; a witness statement (victim); a statement by the alleged perpetrator of violence; and an account of previous violent acts by him. Based on this material, participants were encouraged to think of the best response to the events described, not necessarily a tradition legal crime/punishment  response.

This group assignment consisted of  preparing a terrorist trial/case study. Each group had a different case to work on. The preparation of the case study started before the Master Class and continued throughout the two weeks of of the course incorporating ideas and material from daily lectures, discussions and seminars. The groups were expected to draw on relevant scholarship about political and historical routes to, explanation of and legal responses to specific incidents of terrorism and the phenomenon of terrorism in general.

Group 1:     The ICTY Terror(ist) Case: Stanislav Galić

Group 2:    A British-IRA Terrorist Case,,1235581,00.html

 Group 3:     A US Terrorist Case

Group 4:    A Syria Case in Progress

Group 5:    Context Trial held in The Netherlands

Group 6:    A Bosnian Terrorist Casešević-et-al/

Working method for the six Case Studies:

Each of the six groups was tasked for their specific case to concentrate on:

  • Political and historical background of the conflict that produced violent/terrorist groups
  • Political goals of the terrorist(s)/terrorist organisation
  • Sociological profile of the terrorists/perpetrators
  • Response by the political/military/judicial authorities
  • National/International jurisdiction
  • State or non-state actors/perpetrators
  • Description of the terrorist trial/procedures/judgment/sentencing
  • Post-trial/post-prison period
  • Media coverage/public reaction to the terrorist event, trial and post-trial developments


Daily discussions: Members of the groups were encouraged to present their on-going findings during the daily Q&A sessions and during daily dedicated practicum sessions.

Final presentations: In the last two days of the Master class all six groups presented their findings and recommendations. In about an hour each, the groups reported on the lessons learned from their case studies and gave possible recommendations on how to respond in political, military, legal and other ways to the threat of terrorism as shown in their case studies.

 CERTIFICATE of ATTENTANCE: All participants have been awarded a joint IUC/University of Amsterdam/Inner Temple Inn Certificate of Attendance. MA students will receive 6ECTs from University of Amsterdam upon request.


Monday, 03 July 2017

  • 09:00-10:00 – Opening lecture and Introduction: Nevenka Tromp and Geoffrey Nice
  • 10:00-11:00 – Nevenka Tromp, “Post-Cold War Political Violence and History of Terrorism”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Timothy Riesen, “Terrorism: How do we know it when we see it and what can be done about it?”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch (for all participants)
  • 16:30-17:30 Christophe Paulussen – “The foreign fighter phenomenon and examples of how European states have responded to this phenomenon – human rights concerns.”
  • 17:30-18.15 – Introduction to Group Projects
  • 18:15-19:00 – Practicum

Tuesday, 04 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Christophe Paulussen, “The foreign fighters: ‘capita selecta’“ 
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Hamid Sabi, “Terrorism as a means of advancing national (or nationalist) aims.” 
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch (participants in rotation had working lunches with faculty members every second day of the first week)
  • 16:30-18:00 – Visar Morina, “The background and legitimacy of the Kosovo Special Court (part I)”.
  • 18:00-19:00 – Film Seminar “Marianne and Juliane”

Wednesday, 05 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Visar Morina, “The background and legitimacy of the Kosovo Special Court” (part II).
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Hamid Sabi, “Is the West’s response to terrorism appropriate?”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-17:30 – Geoffrey Nice, “Post-Cold War History of the International Criminal System.”
  • 17:30-18.15 – WORKING BREAK
  • 18:15-19:00 – Practicum

Thursday, 06 July 2017

  • 9:00-11:00 – Daniel Warner, “The War on Terrorism: But who is the Enemy and what is the War Zone?”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 -Elisabeth Decrey Warner, “To achieve humanitarian objectives, do we need to talk to everybody?”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-17:30 – Donald Ferencz, “Law and politics of the greatest terrorist act of all: the crime of aggression.”
  • 17:30-18.00 – WORKING BREAK
  • 18:00-19:00 – Film Seminar “Conspiracy”, Benjamin Ferencz video lecture

Friday, 07 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Daniel Warne, “International Security, Global Politics and the Donald Trump US Presidency.”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Elisabeth Decrey Warner, “The Deed of Commitment and fundamental humanitarian norms.”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-17:30 – Video lecture by Sir Nick Parker, “The Use of Military Force to Address Contemporary Security Challenges.”
  • 17:30-18:15 – WORKING BREAK
  • 18:15-19:00 – Practicum

Saturday, 08 July 2017

  • 09:30-11:00 – Jamie Brown, “The Medium and the Message: Terrorism as Asymmetric Information Warfare?”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:15 – Pinar Kandemir, “Terrorism and Media.”
  • 13:15-13:30 – Break
  • 13:30-15:00 – Sophia Kerridge, “End of the Conflict in Colombia: Peace without Justice?
  • Evening free

Sunday, 9 July 2017

  • Morning free
  • 17:30 – Sightseeing Tour

Monday, 10 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 Nicholas Vetch, “Business and Human Rights: Philanthropy, Social Change and Political Influence.”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Nevenka Tromp and Geoffrey Nice, “ICTY: Its History and its Legacy.”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-17:30 – Iain Bonomy, “Towards an International Judiciary.”
  • 17:30-18:15 – WORKING BREAK
  • 18:15-19:00 – Geoffrey Nice Film seminar “Milošević on Trial.”

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Iain Bonomy, “Writing a Judgment”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Gordana Knežević, “Reporting war: local and international perspectives.”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-17:30 – Ejup Ganić “Transitional Justice and the Power of Education”
  • 17:30-18:00 -WORKING BREAK
  • 18:00-19:00 – Panel Discussion: “Post-Transitional Justice and the Agenda for the Future of the Western Balkans” with Sonja Biserko, Ejup Ganić, Gordana Knežević, Geoffrey Nice, Iain Bonomy and Wolfgang Petritsch moderated by Nevenka Tromp.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Marie-Ursula Kind, “Post-Conflict Kosovo and Transitional Justice.”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Sonja Biserko, “The post-Yugoslav States and Response to the ICTY.”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-17:15 – Practicum
  • 17:15-18:00 – WORKING BREAK
  • 18:00-19:00 – Film seminar “Billy Budd”

Thursday, 13 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Gordana Knežević, “Is journalism the first draft of history?”
  • 11:00-11:15 – Break
  • 11:15-13:30 – Geoffrey Nice, “Tension between Law, Justice, Truth and History Writing.”
  • 13:30-16:30 – Working Lunch
  • 16:30-19:00 – Group Presentations – Part 1

Friday, 14 July 2017

  • 09:00-11:00 – Group Presentations – Part 2
  • 11:00-12:00 – Evaluation of the Course
  • 12:00-14:00 – Farewell Lunch (for all participants)



Faculty Members

List of students

  • Sonja Biserko, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (Belgrade, Serbia)
  • Lord Bonomy, former Judge at the ICTY and at the Supreme Courts of Scotland
  • Jamie Brown, Legal Researcher, Council of Europe (Strasbourg, France)
  • Donald Ferencz, Planethood Foundation (London, UK)
  • Pinar Kandemir, TRT World (Istanbul, Turkey)
  • Ejup Ganić, former President of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Sarajevo, BiH)
  • Sophia Kerridge, Barrister (London, UK)
  • Marie-Ursula Kind, former ICTY lawyer and human rights advocate (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Gordana Knežević, Journalist, Radio Free Europe (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Professor Visar Morina (Univeristy of Law, Prishtina, Kosovo)
  • Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Inner Temple (London, UK)
  • Sir Nick Parker, former Commander of the UK Army in Afghanistan (London, UK)
  • Christophe Paulussen, Asser Institute (The Hague, the Netherlands)
  • Wolfgang Petritsch, Austrian Diplomat and former High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina (Vienna, Austria)
  • Timothy Riesen, PhD, Norwich University (USA)
  • Hamid Sabi, lawyer and human rights advocate (London, UK)
  • Nevenka Tromp (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
  • Nikolas Vetch, Executive Chairman of Big Yellow Group PLC
  • Elisabeth Decrey Warner, Executive Director of Geneva Call (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Professor Daniel Warner (Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Jennie Collis, Inner Temple
  • Alshamli, Khaldoun (Netherlands/Syria)
  • Anderson, Jodie (UK)
  • Anholt, Rosanne (Netherlands)
  • Bratina, Ana (Slovenia)
  • Cvejin, Željka (Serbia)
  • Davies, Lucy (UK)
  • Fuad, Tiara Katrina (Malaysia/UK)
  • Garahan, Sabina (UK)
  • Gashi, Liza (Kosovo)
  • Halilović, Sead (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
  • Hasani, Alisa (Kosovo)
  • Hashmi, Rida (Pakistan/UK)
  • Howard, Sophie (UK)
  • Jahić, Eldar (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
  • Jakovina, Petra (Croatia)
  • Kožina, Karlo (Croatia)
  • Krasniçi, Lirim (Kosovo)
  • Krstaš, Nikica (Croatia)
  • Mallon, Miriam (UK/Ireland)
  • Mathur, Preetika (UK)
  • Michal, Clara-Lou (Netherlands/France)
  • Mol, Yuri Alexander (Netherlands)
  • McEvoy, Niamh (Netherlands/Ireland)
  • Persey, Oliver (UK)
  • Ristić, Marija (Serbia)
  • Šikoronja, Stjepan (Croatia)
  • Trbonja, Nermina (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
  • Türkcan, Muhammed Lutfi (Turkey)
  • Van Nijhuis, Lisette (Netherlands)
  • Verbovci, Fahredin (Kosovo)
  • Waycott, Alexandria (Netherlnds/Canada)
  • Whiteley, Samuel (UK)
  • Yalınkılıçlı, Eşref (Turkey)


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