Reporting Justice



Creating a curriculum, modules and materials to teach journalism students and practicing journalists how to better cover international criminal justice and human rights is an on-going process.

Please click on January 2013 to access the most recent curricular materials created by the Salzburg initiative partners.

All comments or concerns may be sent to Eszter Tóth.

Note that the links below archive earlier versions of the materials.

Curriculum: Feb. 2010 Draft

Curriculum: January 2013


Unit I: Law– International Humanitarian and International Criminal Law

Unit II: Justice– Judicial Institutions

Unit III: Journalism– Journalism Practice and Ethics

Course Overview:

Information provided by warring factions during armed conflicts is often purposely biased and inaccurate.  Thus, it is imperative that journalists not just rely on materials provided by such factions, but be familiar with the background of international humanitarian and criminal law, to get the story “right.”  As the “first historians of war,” journalists have a responsibility to look beyond the rhetoric of war and understand what is happening to civilians and other noncombatants on the ground. To do this, they need to have a firm grasp of international law and what it defines as legal, illegal, and criminal in war, and reflect this in their reporting.

This interdisciplinary course will help working journalists and journalism students understand the legal framework that has evolved to prosecute perpetrators of serious international crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity, since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals.  The course will examine the guiding principles and procedures of a range of international and hybrid courts—as well as their advantages and disadvantages.  Finally, it will prepare students for the legal, ethical, and policy issues that they may confront in their coverage of armed conflicts and international criminal justice.

This 15-week course is designed for working journalists and journalism students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  It may be adapted in any way that best suits the instructor(s) and/or the students needs.  To cover the reading material and allow adequate time for class discussion, the class should meet at least once a week for three hours or twice a week for one and a half hours.

Film Night:

As a supplement to the course, instructors may wish to hold a “film night” one evening once a week or every two-weeks.  Films could include feature-length films or documentaries about war and accountability.  Attendance would be voluntary.  Instructors from other schools and departments on campus, film makers, or civil society representatives could be asked to introduce and hold a discussion following the presentation of the film.

Invited Speakers:

Instructors may wish to have invited speakers address certain aspects of the course.

Required Books and Resources:

Roy Gutman, David Rieff, and Anthony Dworkin (eds), Crimes of War:  What the Public Should Know, Revised and Updated Edition, 2.0 (New York:  W.W. Norton & Co., 2007).  Also available online at

Institute of War and Peace Reporting, Reporting Justice:  A Handbook on Covering War Crimes Courts.  Also available online at

Course Outline

I. International Humanitarian and International Criminal Law

    Introduction to International Humanitarian and International Criminal Law
    War Crimes
    Crimes Against Humanity
    Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
    Case Study- Child Soldiers

II:  Judicial Institutions

    Introduction to Judicial Institutions
    Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals
    Adhoc International and Hybrid Tribunals
    International Criminal Court
    National Prosecutions
    Transitional Justice
    Case Study – Rwanda

III:  Journalism:  Practice and Ethics

    Covering Conflict
    Reporting on Judicial Institutions
    The Meaning of Objectivity
    Ethnic and Gender Sensitivity
    Case Study – Balkans
    Trauma and Safety

2010 Workshop Curricula

Telling the Story of International Justice & War Crimes

During the first Salzburg workshop, held in February 2010, the assembled group worked to produce an outline for law, justice and journalism modules for a global journalism curriculum on international justice issues and institutions.

The following three pages (hosted on the 2010 blog) capture the group’s thoughts at that time: