Critical International Law Summer School

This 7-day collaborative summer school focuses on the development of a critical international law pedagogy through a collaborative international law network that explores international justice though an integrated and interdisciplinary approach. The goal is to bring together faculty in the network who will contribute to the teaching, research and mentoring mission of the network, while also offering students and faculty an opportunity to share their research and critically reflect on some of the most pressing concerns of the contemporary period – especially in the Global South. The long-term goal is to continue to build inter-institutional linkages with students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows and researchers in the Global North and South.

The week-long workshop will focus on the exploration of the processes through which international criminal law is being taught, learned, structured and innovated. But it also seeks to build critical pedagogies that will grow and take root through its faculty and graduate student base. By examining the key components of international justice –its social constructions, law’s technocratic potential, the political economy and affective life—the course is committed to exploring the actors engaged in the making of international criminal law regimes as well as the contexts within which such forms of international law are made to intervene. With attention on the lawyers, diplomats, Non-Governmental Organizations, and various institutions that shape the moral values of contemporary law and the role of other actors engaged in supporting and facilitating justice work, the course explores the contexts, innovations, controversies, and contestations within the field of international criminal law.

Day 1 – Sunday July 4 – Welcoming Event, Expectations and Ice Breakers

6pm – Opening Reception

VIP Guest Keynote Speaker – TBD

Day 2 Monday July 5   – Unit  – 1 International Criminal Law and Its Limits? Mapping its Geographies, Contexts and Continuities

08:30 – 12:00– Morning Session

08:30 – 09:00– Opening remarks: Organizers – Alphonse, Felix, Kamari, & Coordinator – Sara Ali

  • Alphonse & Kamari – Welcome, Goals and Objectives
  • Felix – Welcome & Curriculum

09:00 – 10:00 – Lecture 1: Situating International Criminal Justice – Kamari M. Clarke

10:00 – 10:30Tea/Coffee Break – Group Photo

10:30 – 11:30 – Lecture 2 – International Law and The Politics of the Human – Siba Grovogui

11:30 – 12:30– Lunch

13:00 – 15:00 – Field Visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial

15:30 – 16:30 – Field visit to Camp Kigali/Belgian Peacekeepers Memorial

17:00 – 18:30– Student Research Papers Workshop – An Introduction

Day 3 – Tuesday July 6 – Unit 2 – Law and the Political: The Contemporary Moment

09:00 – 12:00 – Morning Session:

09:00 – 10:00 – Lecture 1 – The Interface of Law and Politics in Prosecutions of Atrocity Crimes – Phil Clark, SOAS, London

10:00 – 10:15 – Tea/Coffee Break

10:15 – 11:15 – Lecture 2 – Legal Humanitarianism and the Politics of International Criminal Justice, The Sara Kendall: University of Kent

11:15 – 12:15 – Lunch

13:00 – 16:00 – Afternoon Session – Panel Session

  • Unpacking Agency and Interests in International Criminal Justice Processes, Sarah-Jane Koulen,
  • International Criminal Justice: Between Independence and Hegemonic Influences, Alphonse Muleefu, UR
  • The ICTR and the Rwandan Judicial System: Between Dialogue, Tensions/Insights from Practice – Florida Kabasinga, Certa Law

16:00 – 16:30 – Tea/Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:00 – Exchanges/Q & A

17:00 – 18:30 – Evening Session

Student Research Papers Workshops

Day 4 – Wednesday July 7 – Unit 3 – Drilling Down: Conflicts and Impacts: The International and the Domestic

Field Trip – Murambi/Mpanga – Genocide against the Tutsi and Domestic Responses – (Discussed in meeting: Lunch before or after Murambi; Visit Nyanza; Mpanga Prison)

6:30 – 09:00 – Trip to Mpanga

09:00 – 10:30 – Visiting Mpanga Prison

11:30 – 13:00 – Lunch at ILPD Nyanza/Visit to Royal Palace

13:00 – 15:00 – Trip to and visit to the Murambi Memorial

15:00 – 16:30 – Trip to Huye

16:30 -18:30 – Panel Session

  • International Criminal Trials and Historical Evidence – Thijs Bouwknegt, NIOD/University of Amsterdam, NL
  • Complementarity and Tensions between International Tribunals and Domestic Courts. Nicola Palmer, King’s College, London

18:30 – 20:00 – Dinner in Huye

20:00 – 22:30 – Trip to Kigali

Day 5 – Thursday July 8 – Unit 4Drilling Down: Law, Victimhood, Redress and Temporalities

9:30 – 12:00 – Morning Session

9:30 – 10:30 – Lecture 1: On the Expressive Functions of Punishment in ICL: Distance and Impact, Barbora Hola, UvA, Amsterdam, NL

10:30 – 11:00 – Tea/Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:00Lecture 2: Atrocity Crimes, Collective Agency and Individualized Responsibility: ICL’s Restorative Deficit, Felix Ndahinda, Aegis Trust

12:00 – 13:00 – Lunch

13:00 – 16:00 Afternoon Session

13:00 – 14:00Lecture 3: Victimhood and Ethics in International Criminal Justice – Jill Stauffer, Haverford

14:00 – 14:15 – Break

14:15 – 15:15 – Lecture 4: Criminal Justice and Alternative Post-Conflict Responses: Insights from the South African Experience, Christopher Gevers – University of Kwazulu-Natal, SA

15:15 – 18:00 – Free Time

18:00 – 21:00 Dinner Talk – A Dialogue Session with the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) and the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide (CNLG) – TBC

Day 6 – Friday July 9 – Unit 5Drilling Down and Expanding Out: Law’s Futures

9:00 – 12:00 – Morning Session

09:00 – 10:00- Lecture 1: The Future of International Justice in Africa: Navigating Domestic, Regional and Global Justice Politics, James Nyawo

10:00 – 10:30 – Tea/Coffee Break

10:30 – 11:30: Lecture 2: Kjersti Lohne: Convergent or Divergent Agendas: Civil Society Organisations and International Criminal Justice, University of Oslo, Norway

11:30 – 13:00 – Lunch Break

13:00 – 16:00 – Afternoon Session

Student Research Papers Workshops – Presentations

18:00: Closing Dinner and Reflections

Before you arrive

The Visit Rwanda site has a practical information page which provides key information to consider when planning your trip including information related to health, clothing, weather and money. Visit them here


As of 2018, visitors to Rwanda are no longer required to obtain a visa prior to arrival, however, for nationals from some countries, a fee may be required upon entry. For visa information, please visit the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration for more information.


Please consult your local health provider about which vaccinations you require before your visit. 

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, the result of this engagement is the development of a new summer program established with the collaboration between the Transnational Justice Project at the University of Toronto, The University of Rwanda, Haverford College and Kent Law School.

Learn in Rwanda

The collaborative event will be held in Kigali, Rwanda where faculty in the network, and affiliated graduate students will participate in a week-long workshop at the University of Rwanda.

The teaching and learning approach places importance on South-South conversations while also considering the strategic importance of South-North collaborations in international justice domains.


As part of their tuition, students will be housed in shared accommodation at the Nobleza Hotel in beautiful Kigali.

The Nobleza Hotel is only a 10 minute drive from Kigali International Airport and hosts amenities such as a swimming pool and fitness center, as well as satellite television and Wi-Fi in all rooms. With the exception of meals during site visits, student and faculty meals will be hosted at the Nobleza Hotel restaurant.

Roommates are matched based on the answers provided on the Housing Preference Form which will be sent to students once accepted. Matches are based on criteria such as lifestyle and gender preferences to allow us to provide suitable housing arrangements.

Experiential Learning

Students will meet with lecturers, as well as participate in field trips where they will engage in interactive meetings with actors involved in international and domestic (transitional) justice institutions such as Gacaca processes, prosecution and defense attorneys, judges, correctional services and members of non-governmental organizations.

Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and participate in debates about their work and role in the field of international criminal justice or domestic transitional justice. Such field trips will allow students to explore how these institutions work in practice by attending hearings, observing moments when judgments are made, debating issues with specialists in the field, and in relation to embassies, offering the opportunity to understand the work and role of diplomats in international arenas.​