The Transitional Justice Leadership Program, developed in consultation with leading figures in the transitional justice field, provides an opportunity for LLM students to engage with CHRGJ’s Project on Transitional Justice through coursework, scholarship, and internships. CHRGJ’s Project on Transitional Justice, led by Pablo de Greiff, brings together teaching, research, conferences, and student field work on criminal trials, truth commissions, institutional reform and reparations programs in transitional democracies, ranging from East Timor and Iraq to Sierra Leone and Peru and, most recently, those countries impacted by the “Arab Spring.”
Each year, a select group of students is chosen to take part in the Transitional Justice Leadership Program. Transitional Justice Scholars are guaranteed enrollment in two courses that comprise the classroom component of the program. In the Fall semester, scholars will enroll in a seminar entitled Transitional Justice, which offers an insight into the legal, moral, and political issues that nations must confront as they seek to come to terms with a legacy of human rights abuse. During the Spring semester, scholars will participate in a seminar entitled Case Studies in Transitional Justice, which provides a detailed analysis of transitional justice initiatives in more than a dozen countries.
In addition to these two classes, during the academic year scholars will receive guidance in: developing research projects aimed at eventual publication; obtaining academic-year internships with human rights organizations, including at NYU School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice; and in providing research assistance to transitional justice institutions, such as the International Center for Transitional Justice. They will also be expected to develop original works of legal scholarship to submit to the Annual Emerging Human Rights Scholarship Conference, which provides students with a unique opportunity to receive detailed feedback from their peers and from experts in the field, in order to prepare work of publishable quality. In addition, as part of their affiliation with the CHRGJ, scholars will also have opportunities for collegial interaction with professors and visiting experts. As scholars look to their time after the LL.M. program, they will also receive advisement on seeking unpaid internships in a variety of transitional justice institutions, such as truth commissions, courts, reparations programs, and local human rights organizations in countries throughout the world. Funding from NYU to pursue such opportunities is available on a competitive basis through application to the International Law and Human Rights Student Fellowship Program.
How to Apply to the Transitional Justice Leadership Program
After accepting an offer of admission and enrolling in NYU Law’s LL.M. program, there will be an opportunity to apply for the Transitional Justice Leadership Program prior to the course registration process for the academic year. Those who apply and are selected for this program are guaranteed enrollment in the two courses that comprise the coursework component, as well as offered guidance as described above. Students not selected for the program may still register for either or both of the classes through the normal registration process; however, as with all Law School courses, enrollment is not guaranteed and is highly competitive.
To apply, please send submit a current CV, a relevant writing sample, and a cover letter detailing your interest in the program to to Deborah Popowski with the subject line “Transitional Justice Leadership Program Application 2016.” We are no longer accepting applications for the next academic year.
2014-2015 Transitional Justice Scholars
Diana Maquilon Tamayo graduated with honors from Universidad Diego Portales School of Law and was granted the prestigious award “Academic Excellence” for being the best student of her graduating class. During her university years, she also worked as an assistant professor and researcher in Constitutional Law, Human Rights at the Center for Human Rights and the Public Interest Clinic. In 2010, she worked at the Human Rights Office of the Chilean Legal Aid Agency, under the supervision of human rights advocate Nelson Caucoto. From 2011 to 2013, Diana worked as a consultant lawyer for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) South America Regional Office. She also served, from 2013 to the present, as a lawyer at the National Human Rights Institute (INDH) where she prepared the contents of the annual report on the situation of human rights in Chile and was a part of the multidisciplinary team responsible for the execution of this task. Diana’s academic interests comprise a variety of topics, including the Rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Transitional justice, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and LGBTI rights.
Valeria Vegh Weis graduated summa cum laude from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). She has completed her post-graduate studies in Criminal Law with honors and she has just defended her PhD thesis, which concerns an historical and sociological analysis based on crime and punishment. She was awarded with the Estímulo, CONICET and PROFITE Research Scholarships during her studies. In 2014 she was awarded with the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Master Degree in the US. She has been working at the Argentinean Judiciary in different courts of the criminal law area since 2005. Since 2012, she has been working as a Pro-secretary Lawyer of the Public Defender Office of Buenos Aires City, where she co-coordinates an interdisciplinary team oriented towards the defense of the disadvantaged during criminal enforcement. She also was part of the development of a program for prisoners with mental health issues. Currently she is working in different social organizations to impulse the replacement of the traditional mental health centers with new community services. Valeria has been serving as a University Lecturer since 2004 at different universities. She has a large number of publications in criminal law and mental health.
Malsirini de Silva earned her LL.B (Second Upper Honors) from the Faculty of Law at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she was awarded the University Scholarship and several other academic achievement awards. Whilst studying she interned at organizations such as the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Attorney General’s Department and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, University of Colombo. After completing law school she was admitted to the Bar in 2013 as an Attorney-at-Law in Sri Lanka. Thereafter she practiced as a Junior Counsel in corporate litigation for a year. In 2014 she joined the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka under the ‘Strengthening Enforcement of Law, Access to Justice and Social Integration Program’ focusing on criminal justice, human rights and access to justice. Her interest in the area of transitional justice grew during her time at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, University of Colombo, where she coordinated and conducted research for the advanced training program on women and post conflict reconciliation. Malsirini was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to further explore this interest at NYU.
Eleanor Vermunt holds an LL.B. (1st Class Honors) and B.A. from the University of Otago, New Zealand, where she was awarded first overall for International Human Rights Law and wrote her thesis on the crime of genocide in Darfur. Eleanor was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 2011 and practiced employment law in New Zealand for three years. She has also worked in Shanghai, China where she focused on corporate and employment law, and interned with the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in the Hague. Eleanor is pursuing an L.L.M in International Legal Studies at NYU so that she can study International Human Rights Law, and Transitional Justice mechanisms in more depth, as she wishes to pursue a career in this field.
Past Transitional Justice Scholars