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.



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.



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.


TIME TABLE (03 July to 14 July 2017)

Arrival, Sunday, 02 July 2017


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)




Karlo Kožina

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.


There are at least two reasons why I find this Master Class to be important and useful. First, comprehensive and systematic (interdisciplinary) approach to the topic is the best (and only) way to understand such complex topic such as terrorism. Therefore, we met people who are lawyers, sociologists, experts in security and military, and many others. Each of them showed us different point of view on terrorism, so at the end of Master Class we got the whole picture of these globally important topic.

Second, I met such wonderful people in Dubrovnik, and with some of them I became friends for life. That is maybe the most important value about Master Class – connection with so many different people, who are great students in their field of education, and exchange of opinions on relevant global topics.


I recommend all students to apply for Master Class 2018 because every open-minded student should experience this incredible course.

Khaldoun Alshamli

I come from war-torn country "Syria" which located in the core of the Middle East. The Middle East is not just a geographical term; it is a regional and a very cruel sub-international system based on Israeli's supremacy and its monopoly of violence between the states on one hand. On the other hand, on the political enslavement of the oppressed people in the surrounding countries under the auspices of western powers and Russia.

At the present time, two Syrians generations are paying the price of the exclusion from the political life and the absence of rule of law, and where the elites rule like the Israeli masters; are completely exempted from the liabilities of the international law.

Ostensibly, it seems that we are talking in politics not law and as a lawyer concerned by the overlapping between the two domains and motivated by the injustice, which experienced locally through my work and internationally as a citizen of this world, I seek the answers for this dilemma.

There came the master with the most professional experts who guided me to a better understanding to the world's laws and politics from all possible angles and perspectives, and it was a great opportunity to delve in the hottest topics of the day such as terrorism, political violence and the use of military force.

The philosopher Karl Popper once said: "Knowledge consists in the search for truth… it is not the search of certainty"; this quote incarnated in the master, I learned that there are multiple truths as an answer for one question: journalistic, social, historical, martial, philosophical, political and juridical truth. Each one of those subjects tend to constitute its own truth via its own tools and narratives.

Moreover, the master allowed me to comprehend the case of former Yugoslavia and the process before the special tribunal, which expanded my sight when I look to the possible scenarios for my home country and all that because I got in touch with lecturers and academics with solid experience and knowledge.

Another pleasant fact about this class is that it took a place in a nice old city "Dubrovnik" with students from different countries and backgrounds thus; I enjoyed not only the place but also the company.

Finally, I can add as a last remark about the lecturers that they wanted to teach us, to educate us and share their experiences with us, but above all, they wanted us to make a better word to live in.

Yuri Mol

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 Master Class was split up into three main parts, which ran through the two weeks. First, we enjoyed lectures from a diverse group of distinguished academics and professionals. An amazing opportunity that I only started to really appreciate after a couple of weeks, when I had some time to let the whole experience sink in. The breadth of knowledge shared with us and the approachability of the lecturers created an atmosphere that was very conductive to learning. However, as the two weeks progressed, the long days and sheer amount of information by which we were bombarded daily was close to overwhelming most of us.


Second, the Class was divided into 6 working groups. The groups were tasked to research and present different case studies related to the course topic. My group was tasked to study the 1998 United States embassy bombings and present a comprehensive analysis of the situation/environment leading up to (as well as the consequences of) the bombings. The case study gave us the opportunity to apply our own academic and professional competences, which led to a stimulating environment in which we could not only familiarise ourselves with the subject matter but also share our know-how with our peers.


Third, the working groups were tasked to present a mock trial per our self-designed legal proceedings. This gave us the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about advocacy and procedural law, and it gave us room to showcase our legal acumen and present the functioning of our ‘ideal’ trial. While some groups favoured the swift and decisive action made possible by a non-democratic council of tribal elders leaning on the Code of Hammurabi (yes, there was quite a lot of creative freedom), other working groups were more inspired by the workings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


The Master Class proved to be an unforgettable experience that familiarised me with new subjects and narratives. The Class gave me more insights in contemporary terrorism and political violence through an interdisciplinary lens, and it managed to draw my attention to areas of conflict that I previously was not aware of or interested in. If I had to give any suggestions to future participants, I would suggest to come prepared, well-rested, and ready to actively participate so you can gain the most out of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Preetika Mathur


The Fourth Geoffrey Nice Foundation Masterclass on ’The Law and Politics of Terrorism' took place between July 3rd 2017 and July 14th 2017. The Master Class was again held in the dynamic environment of the Inter University Centre in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. I was fortunate to be one of those selected to attend the Masterclass from my Inn of Court (Inner Temple) in the United Kingdom.


I hold a law degree from the University of Oxford and an LLM from the London School of Economics. I have also worked with numerous NGOs, UN entities including the ICTY and Government bodies. I was therefore keen to take part in the Masterclass because of the opportunity to reflect upon my practical experiences in international law from a more interdisciplinary and academic perspective. The Masterclass offered the perfect opportunity to do this with over 30 participants attending from around the world and with expertise across a broad range of disciplines. The seminar discussions were dynamic and lively with a multitude of perspectives on each issue. This offered the perfect opportunity for me to challenge and develop my own views on a range of highly contentious topics. 


Over the course of the Masterclass students were able to use a multidisciplinary approach to gain greater understanding of political violence in its various manifestations and the problems that this type of violence poses for society, states and the international legal system. 


The key theme running through the Masterclass was a critical consideration of the limits of law and existing legal knowledge when dealing with political violence. The Masterclass offered the unique opportunity to reflect upon existing legal definitions and responses in order to propose better alternatives. 


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. 


The expertise and number of speakers was staggering. Seminars were led by a former Judge of the ICTY, Leading Journalists from Turkey, Civil Society Activists from The Balkans, CEOs, Army Chiefs and Nobel Prize Nominees. 


The Masterclass is a truly inspiring and rewarding experience both in terms of the substantive content of the course as well as the opportunity to meet and connect with people from around the world.


I would highly recommend the course to all those interested in enhancing their understanding of international criminal law. I returned from Dubrovnik buzzing with ideas for research and projects inspired by the Masterclass.


Faculty members

  • 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)
  • Dr. Christophe Paulussen, Asser Institute (The Hague, the Netherlands)
  • Wolfgang Petritsch, Austrian Diplomat and former High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina (Vienna, Austria)
  • Dr. Timothy Riesen, PhD, Norwich University (USA)
  • Hamid Sabi, lawyer and human rights advocate (London, UK)
  • Dr. 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

List of students

  • 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)