The legs of several people in an audience, writing in notebooks on their laps

Study with us

Todd Foglesong and Ron Levi

Our teaching initiatives

Members of the Global Justice Lab teach courses within the Munk School's MGA program on issues such as counterterrorism, advocacy, justice reform and global violence. 


Counterterrorism and the rule of law

What is the relationship between terrorism and human rights? Can measures designed to counter threats to public safety and security be compatible with principles of democracy and rule of law? How do liberal democracies like Canada go about “Securing an Open Society”? This course examines responses to the threat of terrorism at local, national, and supra-national levels, from criminal justice mechanisms and preventative measures to international sanctions and military responses. We will also consider selected modes and frameworks for accountability over counterterrorism activities, including courts; national security review and oversight bodies; military and police review mechanisms; and domestic and international human rights instruments. Throughout, we will reflect on questions of efficacy and ethics relating to the practice of counterterrorism.

Global justice advocacy

Globally, advocates for social change employ justice and rights-based approaches in attempting to influence policy, behaviours and outcomes. In this project-based course, we will explore what it means to be a social justice advocate in theory and in practice. Through projects undertaken with partner organizations, students will have the opportunity to participate in advocacy under the supervision of the course instructor. We will examine how advocacy strategies are developed, engage in hands-on comparative research and analysis, and learn about different methods of public engagement. Finally, we will reflect on ethical issues relating to social justice advocacy, the impact of increasing professionalization in the social justice sector and the role of reflexivity in social justice practice.

Global violence

Violence creates a broad range of challenges in global affairs. Some of the most pressing problems facing many parts of the world include issues of criminal and political violence in weak states, and the impacts of organized crime, ethnic violence, civil wars and other threats to everyday security and well-being. This course addresses the causes of extreme and persistent violence and its effects on institutions, governance, well-being, intergroup relations and economic growth, along with the global challenges of building effective, resilient and systemic responses to these problems.

Justice reforms in global context: Measurement, accountability and choice

This course investigates the politics of justice reform in a global context, examining the ideas and indicators of crime, safety and justice currently deployed by national governments, civil society organizations and international institutions. Students analyze innovations that seek to advance justice, safety and the rule of law in a range of diverse countries. They also work with and for government officials in foreign countries to measure, evaluate and account for justice or safety policies in a global context, and to independently appraise the value of goals and targets in new governance schemes.

MGA Capstone Seminar: Global justice

In their second-year capstone projects, Master of Global Affairs students gain insights into global problems by working directly with clients in a range of fields – including justice.

In a recent project overseen by the Global Justice Lab, MGA students conducted research for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on strategies for monitoring fighters who return from foreign conflicts. Others have worked with Global Affairs Canada on potential Canadian foreign policy approaches to countering violent extremism and emerging human rights issues in an era of climate change.

Internships and study abroad

The Global Justice Lab is one of three North American institutions offering student internships with the Open Society Institute on Rights and Governance (OSIRG). Lab scholars also teach human rights practice in the annual OSIRG summer program at Central European University, as well as the University of Copenhagen summer school on international courts.