exterior view of international criminal court, the hague, netherlands

International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands

Photo Credit: Leigh Swigart

Programs in International Justice and Society enhance the work of the international justice system by informing the general public about its accomplishments and challenges, providing discussion for both international and domestic judges on relevant issues of law and ethics, and encouraging interdisciplinary inquiry about international justice as well as human rights and complementary justice activities.

The programs also seek to introduce undergraduate students to the world of international justice through supporting courses on related topics and organizing on-campus events.


The world of international justice is complex and changing. Over the past several decades, a number of new international justice institutions have been established in response to specific events and to a generalized view that some kinds of judicial proceedings can best serve the interests of the global community.

At the same time, many processes meant to complement international justice have emerged, such as truth and reconciliation commissions, localized forms of justice adapted to new circumstances and various human rights endeavors. Neither institutions of justice nor complementary processes take their forms from legal notions alone; they are products of complex social realities and subsequently serve to shape these same realities. The field of international justice thus benefits from a multidisciplinary perspective that incorporates the insights not only of law but also of the humanities and social sciences.

Central to the formulation of the Brandeis Programs in International Justice and Society is the inclusion of intellectual approaches provided by literature, history, anthropology, philosophy and many other disciplines. The staff of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life strives to enrich the experience of practitioners and "constituents" of international justice — judges, attorneys, victims, witnesses, scholars, advocates and others — by developing programs that take into account the full complexity of justice institutions and the work they perform. Students are also encouraged to study institutions and mechanisms of international justice in their full contexts.