International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Course Outline


Course Number:       CJ 354 (T/R 3:30-4:45pm)

Course Name:           International Justice

Credits :                       3

Class Type:                   Seminar

Semester and Year:      Fall 2016


Faculty: Dr. Alana Tiemessen

Assistant Professor of Security Studies

Office Location: Wax Academic Center 216

Office Hours: M/W 2-3 and T/R 1:30-3pm (or by appointment)

Telephone: (978) 232-2123

Email:            Twitter: @alanatiemessen


This course addresses international justice for atrocities and large-scale human rights violations. Students will be introduced to key concepts of atrocity crimes, international criminal law, and institutions and processes of accountability. The course will focus on the different types of institutions and policies used to provide justice, such as international tribunals, the International Criminal Court, truth commissions, and restorative justice, and explore contemporary “impunity gaps” in international justice, such as amnesties, major power crimes, and corporate crimes. This course situates international justice in contemporary security studies, international criminal law, human rights, and world politics. 


At the completion of this course students should be able to:

1) Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of concepts and institutions of international justice, as well as the nature of contemporary international crimes in conflict situations.

2) Identify the policy implications of international justice ideas, theories, and debates.

3) Explain how issues of justice and security are interrelated in theory and practice.

4) Exhibit critical analysis skills in their written assignments and participation.

5) Engage effectively and meaningfully with social media forums.

6) Contribute to discussion on contemporary international justice issues in a manner that is intelligent and productive.


The methods of instruction in this class will include lecture, class and online discussion, and short documentary film clips. Class time is devoted to both lecture and discussion, and meant to complement and supplement the reading material. Lectures will not take up the entire class but are important to fill in the information gaps in the readings, explain the material, and shape our approach to the topic. Student participation, in class and on the blog, will comprise an essential part of active learning in this course. 


There are no books to purchase for this course. All of the reading material will be available electronically through direct web links or uploaded to our Canvas course page. The course schedule details the assigned readings that must be completed prior to the relevant class. Students are expected to come prepared to discuss the material in class.


Participation                10%                 Ongoing in class

Blog Postings               15%                 Ongoing online

Essays                          35%                 Oct 6, Nov 10, Dec 8

Exam #1                     20%                 Oct 25

Exam #2                     20%                 Dec 15

Participation: 10%

Participation grades will be determined by attendance and oral participation in class. The following are general guidelines and evaluation criteria for participation:

(A) Exceptional contribution, characterized by being an outstanding participant by frequently and intelligently contributing to discussion. The student’s participation helps to generate more and better discussion within the group. Participation demonstrated that the student completed, understood, and could critically assess the assigned material.

(B) Substantial contribution, characterized by meaningful involvement that added to the discussion. He or she offered productive comments or questions and participation was relevant to the readings and discussion. Participation demonstrated that the students completed and understood the assigned material.

(C) Expected contribution, characterized by meaningful involvement that added to the process. He or she participated consistently but not frequently. The student showed willingness and understanding during the discussion. Comments or questions were somewhat linked to the readings and discussion but it was not clear if the student understood the assigned material.

(D) Marginal and infrequent contribution, characterized by minor involvement that added little to the discussion. Participation did not demonstrate if he or she completed and understood the assigned material.

(F) Insignificant contribution, characterized by a failure to display interest or make relevant comments. The student listened but not intently and did not utilize reading material when making comments. Participation demonstrated that the student did not complete the assigned material.

Blog Postings (15%)

You are required to post once a week as a response to a question prompt from me, a response to another student’s post, or an original post. Each post should be at least 100-200 words. Responding to “threads” is preferred, as the aim is to create a dialogue instead of a series of individual and disconnected posts. Your posts should respond to international stories in the news AND course material. At the end of the semester you will submit for evaluation what you consider to be your best 5 posts (in addition to meeting required number of posts). More details on guidelines and tips for blogging and evaluation will be distributed separately.

Written Assignments (30%)

There are three short written assignments for this course, each approximately 4-5 pages and worth 10% of your grade. This topic of the essay will be chosen from the list provided (forthcoming), and will require additional research (beyond the course readings). The essays are related and sequential as they will explore a particular case study (either a case of atrocity crimes or a particular justice institution). The structure and content of the essays will respond to a set of question prompts provided by the professor for each topic. More details on this assignment will be distributed separately.

The first essay is due Oct 6, the second essay is due Nov 10 and the third essay is due Dec 8. Absolutely no extensions will be granted unless it is to accommodate a documented medical emergency. Late essays will receive a penalty of 5% per day.

Exams (40%)

The first exam will be held in class on October 25th. You will be responsible for all the readings and lecture material in the first two sections (“Justice in Context” and “International Criminal Justice”) for this exam. The second exam will be held during the college’s final exam period on Dec 15th. You will be responsible for all the readings and lecture material in the last two section since the mid term (“Impunity Gaps” and “Alternatives to Criminal Justice”). Each exam is worth 20% of your final grade and will comprise a combination of short answer and essay questions.

You must attend these exams. If you miss one, no alternative exam will be arranged and you will receive a zero for that portion of your grade.

Grading Scale

Letter Percentage Description
A 94-100% Exceptional
A- 90-93% Excellent
B+ 87-89% Very Good
B 84-86% Good
B- 80-83% Good
C+ 77-79% Below average
C 74-76% Below average
C- 70-73% Below average
D+ 67-69% Poor
D 64-66% Poor
D- 60-63% Poor
F 0-59% Inadequate, below minimum standards
INC Incomplete Unsubmitted work

ADA Policy

If you as a student qualify as a person with a disability as defined in Chapter 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), you are strongly encouraged to register with the Center for Teaching and Learning. The Center for Teaching and Learning is located in the Diane M. Halle Library room 201 and online at As a student registered with the Center for Teaching and Learning, it is your responsibility to present your accommodation letter to your instructor at the beginning of each semester.  


Course Work

For each credit hour, students are expected to spend a minimum of two hours on work outside of class each week. For this three credit course that is a minimum of six hours each week. Students must review the Academic Calendar published by the Registrar’s Office online at:


All assignments and examinations must be completed to pass the course. Any requests for extensions, alternative exam dates, excused absences, etc. will only be considered if accompanied by documentation explaining a personal or medical situation that would justify such an accommodation. In the event of such circumstances, notify me as soon as possible and in advance of the assignment deadline or exam.

Academic Integrity

Students are required to abide by the Academic Integrity Policy of Endicott College.

All written work submitted by students must be original in conception, organization, and phrasing. Sources must be appropriately acknowledged, including online materials. Using the ideas and writing of other’s work without proper citation is a considered an Academic Integrity violation and will result in a failed grade on the assignment or in the course. Work submitted in this course for evaluation must not be, or ever have been, submitted in other courses.


Class attendance is expected of all students up to and including the last day of scheduled classes in the semester. Students must plan accordingly. Arrive to class on time. Arriving late is disruptive and disrespectful. Repeated and excessive tardiness will negatively affect your participation grade.

Questions and Assistance

First, make sure you cannot answer your own question by reviewing the syllabus or the college’s resources. Otherwise, quick questions regarding course content and assignments can be directed to me by email or in person. If you have questions that require a more lengthy or private discussion, such as grading of an assignment, evaluation of your progress, assistance in understanding course material, etc., please see me during our office hours.

Office Hours and Email Communication

Office hours are time set-aside just for you. All students are welcome to come to my office hours to talk about course material, assignments, their research interests and academic goals, and any challenges they are facing in completing the assignments or participating in the class. Quick questions are best sent by email, and I typically respond within a day. 

Class Behavior

Exhibit responsible, attentive, and mature behavior in class. This means avoiding any of the following: napping, talking to classmates while others are speaking, consuming anything other than a quick snack or beverage, etc.

Screen Free Classroom

Yes, this is a rule. No laptop, no tablets, no phones. You will have to take notes by hand. While this might seem old-fashioned and laborious, it’s an experiment that will help us all. Plenty of research suggests that students understand and retain more information and contribute more to class discussion when they don’t have screens and laptops in front them. These things equal better grades!

While there’s never a reason to have your phone out, even laptops and tablets can disable learning. First, they create distractions. We (professors) know you check social media, chat with friends, do online shopping, etc. in class some or a lot of the time. “Multitasking” is not a real thing. Every time you check out of what’s happening in class your brain is further challenged to recall what you just learned and it’s harder to refocus afterwards. Second, taking notes by hand helps retain knowledge and understand concepts and analysis over rote memorization of what you’ve copied down verbatim from the professor. Finally, because you will be following the flow and content of class, you will be more comfortable participating!

If you don’t believe me…read these:

I know that handwriting class notes takes more time. I will do my best to speak at pace that will accommodate this. Anyone, at any time, is more than welcome to ask me to pause or repeat something.

If you have a disability that prevents you from taking notes by hand then please contact me and the Center for Teaching and Learning and we will work on the best way to accommodate you.

Syllabus Changes

This syllabus is subject to minor change at my discretion. Any updates will be made on the syllabus on Canvas.

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