The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice introduces a new graduate program, Master of Arts (M.A.) in Criminal and Transitional Justice

By Joyce Muchemi and Terry Odhiambo

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences is launching a Master of Arts in Criminology and Transitional Justice starting Summer (May) 2023 semester. Global and market trends demonstrate the need for alternative means of attaining justice for victims during post-conflict peacebuilding initiatives as a means of promoting reconciliation and sustainable peacebuilding efforts.

While existing programs have largely dealt with judicial (trial) methods of punishing offenders leaving little room for the restorative component, this program has identified this gap will offer a blend of both judicial and non-judicial methods of addressing conflicts and subsequent historical injustices. The program is a first of its kind in East and Central Africa and will fill this skill gap by offering relevant theory and practical training in this field.

The uniqueness of the program also lies in the fact that it will expose students to criminology as it relates to transitional justice issues and the challenges emanating from such circumstances. Being a postgraduate program, it will equip students with knowledge of the subject matter.

The program is in line with the African Union’s (AU) quest of developing policy measures and institutional mechanisms that societies adopt in order to overcome past violations, divisions, and inequalities and to create conditions for both security and democratic and socio-economic transformation.

Key courses in this program include restorative justice, reparations and truth commissions, international criminal courts and tribunals, ethics, criminological theory, indigenous justice systems, and international criminal law among others. The students will also get an opportunity to critically analyze the effectiveness of previous transitional justice practices, commissions, tribunals, and rulings. In addition, students will get an opportunity to visit some of the major memorial sites and libraries.

The program’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it enables students to delve deep into criminal and transitional justice issues as opposed to existing programs. It is therefore a game changer to those aspiring to join / already in careers in the criminal and transitional justice fields. Those working in INGOs, NGOs, cohesion and integration commissions, human rights organizations, the United Nations (and its agencies) embassies, government ministries, ombudsmen, and the criminal justice system among other fields can benefit from this course.

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