LAW5418 - Transitional justice - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2017


The term 'transitional justice' refers to the various judicial and non-judicial measures that may be implemented in order to redress a legacy of human rights abuse. Such measures include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations and different forms of institutional reform.

This unit begins by providing an overview of the concept of transitional justice and the different transitional justice mechanisms in order to provide the theoretical framework for the unit. Following an exploration of the theoretical framework we then begin to engage in a detailed analysis of a number of transitional justice programs in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the operation of transitional justice mechanisms in practice. With respect to each case study we consider: the transitional justice mechanisms which were implemented, the success of the different transitional justice mechanisms, hurdles faced in implementing such mechanisms, criticisms of the implementation, and the interaction between the different mechanisms. Examples of case studies which may be considered as part of this unit are: South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy, the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and the relevance of transitional justice in Australia.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge of, and understanding of recent developments in relation to transitional justice / post-conflict justice with creativity and initiative to new situations for further learning;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to transitional justice;
  • conduct research in transitional justice based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to transitional justice.


One research assignment (3,750 words): 50%

One take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study