In the Summer of 2018, as part of a course entitled The Making and Unmaking of International Law, Professor Kamari Clarke, with the assistance of consultant, Sarah-Jane Koulen, hosted an International Law Summer School in The Hague, Netherlands. With participation from visiting scholars such as Professors Jill Stauffer, Sara Kendall and Siba Grovogui, amongst others, the course aimed to provide students with an immersive experience of international law in the making.
Inspired by the success of this program, the team collaborated with partners in Rwanda and at the University of Rwanda to create a similar immersive learning experience outside of Europe. With a commitment to exploring justice issues within African spatial geographies and social worlds, result of this engagement is the development of a new summer institute established with the collaboration between the Transnational Justice Project at the University of Toronto, The University of Rwanda, Haverford College and Kent Law School.
The 2024 Summer Institute will take place over ten days in two Colombian cities—Bogota, the vibrant capital, and Valledupar, a poignant site marred by the scars of Black and Indigenous violence during Colombia’s civil war – and is designed to engage multidisciplinary scholars, activists, and the broader public in both exchange and exploration.
Fully bilingual, with translation services provided in both English and Spanish, students will be exposed to a comparative array of case studies, conceptual tools, and applied knowledge with the aim of amplifying and informing participatory, multi-dimensional work in the Transitional Justice field. Through lectures and field trips, students are invited to join a transnational network of scholars, activists, and ordinary citizens who are considering the possibilities of “transitional justice upended,” an emerging framework which positions transformative justice not as an end result but rather as a pre-condition for more comprehensive forms of reparative justice. To upend Transitional Justice is to turn it upside down, shifting the focus from punishment to the question of how we might create and safeguard the conditions for healing and for life. How might communities grapple with not just who is responsible for the past, but also how to live together in the aftermath of mass atrocity violence.