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Global Justice Challenges


Admission requirements

This course is only available to students of the Honours College GGA.

English level C1 or greater. The maximum number of students is 25.


This course explores contemporary debates and controversies regarding global justice. The focus is on the following question: how to define, understand, and uphold justice in a global and globalizing world?
From a human rights-centric approach, the course will proceed with an analysis of the political theories of justice along with an examination of applied and distributive justice focusing on selected issues that have arisen in contemporary global dynamics: participatory rights and social/labour standards, gender/sexuality, genocide and armed conflicts, environmental concerns. The course will specifically examine the role of global governance and international organisations in the quest for a universal approach to (global) justice.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different theories and positions within the political and philosophical discussion about global justice;

  • demonstrate an ability to, both orally and in written form, present arguments and positions relevant to issues of global justice;

  • understand and critically assess the interplay between various global governance structures and actors therein;

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of select contemporary human rights concerns and of the institutional structure and constraints of global governance structures that address these concerns.

Research – Analyse - Problem Solving – Project Work –– Cooperation – Communicate verbal – communicate in writing – presenting – social conscientiousness – reflection – resilience.


On the right side of programme front page of the studyguide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

The programme will be structured as follows:

  • Introduction: the philosophical, ethical, and normative tenets of global justice

  • A human rights context for global justice

  • Global governance and the role of international organisations

  • Business and human rights in the post-COVID19 world: How to protect vulnerable workers? (‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’, the three pillars of the UN Guiding Principles)

  • Environmental and climate justice: the applicability of human rights norms to the environment

  • Transitional justice and reparation rights for victims of conflict

  • Excursions and guest lecture at Hague-based organisations focusing on selected justice issues (organisations to be announced)

  • Workshops to discuss negotiation positions

  • Negotiation simulation exercise

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

Contact hours: 21
Self-study and assignments: 119

  • Seminars: 6 seminars of 2.5 hours (participation is mandatory)

  • Excursions: 2 excursions of 3 hours

  • Self-study hours: Literature reading, Practical work, assignments & final essay

Assessment method

The assessment methods will look as follows:

  • 20% Participation assessed continually through participation in seminars

  • 20% (10% each) Two reaction papers to a session’s reading(s) of 1000 words

  • 20% Presentation during a negotiation simulation

  • 40% A final case-application paper toward negotiation position within simulation exercise (group work) of 3000 words

☒ Option 1: Students could only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams. ☐ Option 2: It is not required to successfully complete all partial exams in order to pass this course. Students are allowed to compensate a ‘fail’ (grades up to and including 5.0).

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the Class.

Reading list

Excerpts from the following publications will be prescribed as course literature:

  • Göran Collste: Globalisation and global justice – A thematic introduction, De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics Vol. 3:1 (2016), pp. 5-17, available at:

Statistics concerning SDG16 published by Eurostat,_justice_and_strong_institutions(statistical_annex)

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights:

Business and human rights, A Handbook for practitioners, Council of Europe (2019)

Darrell Moellendorf, Climate change and global justice, WIREs Clim Change (2012) 3:131–143,

Jaya Namji-Nogales, Bespoke transitional justice at the International Criminal Court, In The Politics and Practice of International Criminal Court Interventions (2015)

Other possible literature will be announced in class or via Brightspace.


The Honours coordinator/administration will take care of enrollment.
Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for this class. Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the Class.


HC coordinator:
Dr. Tamara Takács



  • Global justice

  • UN sustainable development goals (SDGs)

  • Business and human rights, vulnerable workers, corporate responsibility for human rights violations

  • climate and environmental justice,

  • transitional justice, reparations, victims of armed conflicts