Teaching Law, Justice & Human Rights

How can the world better understand the need for international criminal justice?



With support from the Open Society Foundation, the Salzburg Global Seminar in conjunction with the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) launched an initiative to give journalism students worldwide a deeper understanding of international law, justice and human rights and to teach those students the skills to identify key stories and appropriate sources.

Recognizing the critical role journalists play in conflict and peace, the project’s aim is to develop, pilot and evaluate model university curricula for reporting on international criminal justice events, issues and institutions.

The park of Schloss Leopoldskron, home to the Salzburg Global Seminar since 1947

This initiative  launched in February 2010 with an in-depth white paper on the global needs for such curricula:  Preparing Journalists for New Realities:  Global Curriculum Pilot on the Coverage of Justice Issues and Institutions.

That report, which formed the early basis of this website, was followed by a high-level workshop at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. That first Salzburg  workshop considered the needs of journalism programs in universities in countries that have wrestled with covering stories about justice and rights: South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

International jurists, university partners, implementing organization workers, and journalists from across the globe convened in Austria to identify the core topics, cases, issues, and documents – national, regional, international – that journalism students need to be taught in directed courses.  With attention to both global concerns and regional needs, the workshop participants will draft the outlines of a curricular platform on “International Law and Justice for Journalists” that can be adapted to a wide range of university journalism departments and law schools.

The Salzburg workshop participants worked to identify those issues, cases and documents relating to international justice, law and human rights, especially in regards to the roles played by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other international instruments and tribunals in combination with local and national law and judiciaries.

The workshop participants also assessed  how to best teach the skills the next generation of journalists needs to identify key stories and appropriate sources.

The conversation in Salzburg considered such “new realities” as:

  • new institutions in the field of international justice: i.e. the International Criminal Court and war crimes tribunals;
  • new technologies: new digital technologies as well as new and cross-platform media institutions that provide a much wider range of delivery and engagement methods;
  • new players in the field: journalism schools increasingly teach students who may practice journalism or quasi-journalism in non-traditional news institutions, i.e. NGOs and social networking and citizen journalism sites.

The project has now moved to its next stages; a second Salzburg workshop was convened to finalize the three-part global curriculum. That curriculum has been added to this site.

Copyright © 2010 by The Salzburg Global Seminar & ICMPA