Annual Lecture 2013

Dr. Pierre Hazan

Transitional Justice: From Initial Ambitions to Current Realities –
A Comparative Cross-Cultural Analysis of Truth Commissions and International Criminal Tribunals

Lecture Summary

Over the last twenty years, dozens of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and International Courts have been working in all parts of the world to deal with the authors of human rights violations and crimes against humanity. This process of re-examining the past is unprecedented to the point of becoming a feature of our world. But are these public policies of reconciliation achieving their goals? In this lecture, the potential but also the limit of these new tools in dealing with the wrongs of the past are examined, together with an analysis of how new approaches of justice not only influence our understanding of the past but also our contemporary social and political choices.


Biographical Note

Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School (2005–2006) and the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. (2006–2007), is currently teaching on transitional justice at the University of Geneva. He is also leading a research project on the politics of memory as well as works as a consultant with the United Nations. Prior to this, Pierre Hazan was a journalist. In that capacity, he reported on numerous conflicts in former Yugoslavia, the Middle East, Rwanda, and elsewhere as well as produced several TV documentaries. He is also one of the founding members of the Human Rights International Film Festival (FIFDH) in Geneva. Most recently, he published Judging War, Judging History, Behind Truth and Reconciliation (Stanford University Press, 2011).