Past Event July 24-28, 2023 AJAR Learning Center, Bali, Indonesia

Transitional Justice Course: Innovations and Emerging Best Practices for Accountability and Peace in Asia-Pacific

Course Background

Across Asia-Pacific, advocates for truth and justice are facing unprecedented challenges in this post-Covid era. The pandemic was a litmus test to the fabric of many democracies, with challenges around accountability and civilian rule.  Some emergency measures aimed at addressing COVID-19 gave way to increased scrutiny of populations and the shrinking of civic space. Many countries in the region slid further into conflict and repression. For example, in a report on sexual violence in conflict, published in March 2022, the UN’s Secretary General warned of, “heightened levels of sexual violence (due to) …rising inequality, increased militarization, reduced civic space and the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons.” Further, he notes the impact of military coups d’état, as well as terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks contributing to, “the use of sexual violence as a tactic.”

The 2010 UN’s Guidance Note defined transitional justice as, “the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses in order to ensure accountability, serve justice, and achieve reconciliation.” What contributions do human rights and transitional justice make to sustainable peace?

It is crucial to identify the key lessons in transitional justice processes and its potential contribution to strengthening peace, building momentum for change and initiating reform of the root causes of conflict. Transitional justice is, first and foremost, about victims and survivors as it focuses on their rights and dignity after suffering from a longstanding conflict and looking for a future pathway where everyone’s rights are ensured. In many contexts, the state must face its past to obtain justice for its citizens, restore public trust and prevent future violations and conflicts. It is not a linear and one-size-fits-all process but a constellation of various efforts to create a peaceful and democratic society, including to respect, protect and honour victims’ rights to benefit from remedies and reparations. 

Cognizant of the intersectional nature of TJ, AJAR has employed the transitional justice perspective in its work since its inception in various post-conflict contexts in Asia and the Pacific. Different and everchanging socio-political landscapes in the aforementioned locus have also influenced AJAR’s works as an organization in the Asia-Pacific region. As the organization continues to grow, there is an urgent need to deepen knowledge of transitional justice in those who work closely with victims and survivors of mass human rights violations in post-conflict situations. It is also important to have an exchange learning of transitional justice in the respective context. 

This training will bring civil society actors from the region together to learn lessons from the field, transitional justice mechanisms, and best practices for accountability. AJAR will invite human rights practitioners as resource persons to share their concrete experiences of working in difficult transitions. This course will encourage debate and exchange among participants, including sharing and reflecting on country contexts and innovative transitional justice strategies. It also facilitates learning for participants to study and address challenges to support victims and survivors of mass violations commonly faced in transitional settings in Asia. Transitions to democracy based on the rule of law may take decades. Increasing expertise and knowledge in Asia can bridge the pursuit of accountability for mass crimes through policy change, broadened cross-regional collaboration, and innovative human rights initiatives.


The main objective of this training is to provide an understanding of transitional justice and emerging issues for civil society actors who seek to study and address challenges to justice and peace commonly faced during their work on advocacy with survivors’ groups. More specifically:

  • Develop a concrete understanding of transitional justice and accountability, including urgent measures for victims, and strengthening non-recurrence and peace.
  • Share best practices and lessons learned on transitional justice and victim support in Asia (development and dynamics).
  • Increase familiarity with and ability to apply transitional justice and support for victims and strategies to emerging issues such as gender-based violence, peace and tolerance, and natural resources conflict. 

Topics & Methods

The training materials and discussions developed during the sessions are experiences and empirical cases involving the participants’ activities. Strengthened by knowledge from other countries and the expertise of each resource person, the training material combines online expert presentations, group discussions, case studies, and experiential learning. Resource persons also participated in providing input on each theme of the discussion. Participants will benefit from the course, including, attaining:

  • A solid understanding of human rights, transitional justice, and emerging issues, particularly in Asian contexts.
  • Training and facilitation led by experts from the field.
  • An opportunity to network with participants and practitioners from Asia and beyond.
  • A participatory and mutual learning environment.

The topics presented and discussed during the training are:

  • Emerging innovations and best practice of Transitional Justice.
  • State accountability and impunity: the rise of authoritarianism, militarism, and human rights violations in Asia.
  • Right to truth and truth mechanisms.
  • Prosecutions for serious crimes.
  • Right to reparation and support for victims.
  • Working in partnership with survivors, community-based research, psychosocial healing, documentation, and national and international advocacy.
  • Guarantees of non-recurrence and institutional reform.
  • Cross-cutting themes and challenges: Gender and conflict, violent extremism, displacement, natural resource conflicts.

Facilitators and Resource Persons

The course instructors and guest speakers represent different fields of expertise, country contexts, and years of experience as human rights practitioners. AJAR also invites scholars to address current issues of interest in human rights and to share their expertise and experience. 

Permanent resources persons/facilitators

  1. Galuh Wandita
  2. Patrick Burgess
  3. Indria Fernida
  4. Taty Krisnawati
  5. Atikah Nuraini

Guest Speakers (to be confirmed)

  1. Michael Lapsley (South Africa)
  2. Howard Varney (South Africa)
  3. Atty. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary (Philippines)
  4. Hugo Fernandez (Timor-Leste)
  5. Fatou Baldeh (Gambia)
  6. Mandira Sharma (Nepal)

Logistics Information

  • Date: 24–28 July 2023
  • Location: AJAR Learning Centre, Jalan Pantai Brawa, Gang Sri Kahyangan No. 1, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bali.
  • Fees: 800 USD (inclusive of accommodation, meals, training materials, and tuition)
  • Accommodation: Shared rooms at Kampung Damai (AJAR Learning Centre)
  • Transportation: Participants must pay for and manage their travel (to/from Denpasar, Bali) and visas. Kampung Damai will provide transport from the airport to the learning centre.

Inquiries and Registration

Registration will remain open until seats are filled. For inquiries and registration for this course, please contact AJAR’s Dodi Yuniar at

See our currently running online courses on our leaarning platform at to get a glimpse of our courses.