International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Essay Assignments

There are three short written assignments for this course, each worth 10% of your grade. Essay topics of the essay must be chosen from the list below and will follow the specific prompts. 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) or a major controversy.


Format: 4-5 pages (double spaced, 12 pt font, 1 inch margins

Research: Use any relevant course readings, at least 4 scholarly sources, and any number of non-scholarly sources.

Citations: MLA or APA citations and a works cited list

Due Dates:

Essay 1: Oct 6th

Essay 2: Nov 10th

Essay 3: Dec 8th

Essays must be submitted in hard copy and in class. No extensions will be granted unless it is to accommodate a documented medical emergency. Late essays will receive a 5% penalty per day.


Retributive versus Restorative Justice

Essay 1: Compare and contrast the basic principles and processes of these two justice paradigms.

Truth-Telling and Reconciliation

Essay 1: Discuss the role that truth-telling and reconciliation play in transitional justice, in theory (i.e. without a detailed discussion of case studies), and how truth-telling can contribute to reconciliation.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) or Yugoslavia (ICTY)

Essay 1: Describe the nature of atrocities in Rwanda or Yugoslavia, explain why an international tribunal was established.

Hybrid Court for Cambodia (ECCC) or Sierra Leone (SCSL)

Essay 1: Describe the nature of atrocities in Cambodia or Sierra Leone, and explain why a hybrid tribunal was established.

ICC and Victims

Essay 1: Describe the different ways that the International Criminal Court engages with victim communities, in terms of witness protection and outreach. (Describe this in terms of how the ICC is organized and its mandate, as opposed to individual case studies).

ICC and State Leaders

Essay 1: Discuss the significance of the ICC’s ability to target state leaders, in terms of the nature of their crimes, and the obstacles of sovereignty and immunity.

ICC and Congo, Uganda, Sudan, or Libya

Essay 1: Describe the nature of the atrocities in one of the case studies, and discuss how and why the International Criminal Court initiated its initial “judicial intervention.”

ICC and UN Security Council

Essay 1: Describe the relationship between the ICC and the UN Security Council (what powers do each have vis a vis the other), and the position of the five permanent members on the ICC.

Peace versus Justice in Africa

Essay 1: Describe the theoretical “peace versus justice” debate, in terms of each side’s claims of which should take priority in conflict or post-conflict societies.

Impunity Gap: Corporate Crimes

Essay 1: Discuss what types of corporate crimes can constitute atrocity crimes, providing examples.

Impunity Gap: Major Powers

Essay 1: What types of crimes are the major powers accused of? (Choose only the US, or a comparison between two of the US, Russia, or the UK)

Impunity Gap: Sri Lanka, North Korea, or Syria

Essay 1: Describe the nature of atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka, North Korea or Syria, including who the primary perpetrators and victims are, and the motives of the perpetrators.

Truth-Telling versus Justice in Latin America

Essay 1: Describe the nature of atrocity crimes in one or two Latin American cases (Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, or Chile).

Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa

Essay 1: Describe the nature of atrocity crimes in South Africa’s apartheid era.

Transitional Justice and Child Soldiers

Essay 1: Explain how and why child soldiers are considered both victims and perpetrators.

Reparations for Atrocity Crimes

Essay 1: Describe the different types of reparations commonly used for atrocity crimes, and their connection to restorative justice.

Memorials for Atrocity Crimes

Essay 1: Describe the different types of memorials for atrocity crimes, and how they are considered a form of restorative justice.

“Grassroots” Justice in Uganda, Rwanda or Sierra Leone

Essay 1: Describe the nature of atrocity crimes in Uganda, Rwanda, or Sierra Leone, including who the perpetrators and victims were, and the motives of the perpetrators.

Civil Society and Advocacy for Justice

Essay 1: Discuss the primary ways that civil society can advocate for justice, and the challenges they face at a global or local level.

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