Transitional Justice is a multidisciplinary field of contemporary research and practice. It is concerned with the study of processes that can enable societies that have suffered from widespread human rights violations (as a result of severe political and social disruption, armed conflict, military rule, authoritarian regimes, or even genocide) to transition successfully to sustainable conditions of peace, reconciliation, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. Such processes may include truth-seeking, acknowledgement, accountability, apologies, reparations, constitutional reform, community empowerment and redistribution of resources, among others.
The Fried-Gal Transitional Justice Program was established by the Hebrew University's Minerva Center for Human Rights and Faculty of Law in 2011 as a long-term interdisciplinary program for research, education and outreach activities related to transitional justice. It is the first academic program in Israel devoted to the field.
The Program draws on the rich comparative experience accrued in the field globally over the last several decades, and to the contribution of scholars, practitioners and institutions from other conflict/reconciliation settings around the world. However, whereas "classic" transitional justice theory and practice has focused on post-conflict transitions, the Fried-Gal Transitional Justice Program also seeks to explore the field’s potential during the course of an active conflict and the contributions it can make to the processes leading to a political settlement – with particular focus on the Israeli-Palestinian context.
The Program includes both introductory transitional justice courses as part of the Hebrew University's Law Faculty undergraduate curriculum, and an English-language MA program in human rights and transitional justice at the Faculty of Law. It also offers unique student workshops and international study tours to regions of transition (such as Rwanda, Northern Ireland and Cyprus); conferences, symposia and workshops with leading international and local scholars and civil society and government practitioners; and scholarships for minority students.
The Program benefits from the generous support of the Fried-Gal Transitional Justice Initiative, and from the guidance of an International Advisory Board of leading scholars and practitioners in the field.