11 January - 8 February 2018
Application start 23 August 2017
Application end 4 January 2018
Fee: 1150 Swiss Francs


Flyer >

The Classification of Armed Conflicts

Syria, Old city of Aleppo. Destructed houses situated next to the frontline stand side by side alongside intact houses full of occupants just a few meters away from the frontline Syria, Old city of Aleppo. Destructed houses situated next to the frontline stand side by side alongside intact houses full of occupants just a few meters away from the frontline


This course aims to study, in depth, an emblematic example of the complexity of international humanitarian law (IHL) and the challenges it raises: the classification of armed conflicts (ACs). The course first analyzes the contours of the various categories of ACs (e.g. international AC, internationalized non-international ACs, wars of national liberation, belligerent occupations, high-intensity and low-intensity non-international ACs) in connection with the traditional distinction between non-international and international ACs. The course then questions the relevance of this last distinction in light of the requirements of contemporary ACs and the increased role played by independent actors within them. The course relies, as much as possible, on concrete examples illustrating the different categories of ACs and the controversies they raise.


This course forms part of the Geneva Academy Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict. It is open to professionals – diplomats, lawyers, legal advisers, judges, NGO staff, human rights advocates, media specialists, professionals working in emergency situations, UN staff and staff from other international organizations – who are not enrolled in the Executive Master and who want to deepen their expertise in this specific issue.


Courses take place on:

  • Thursday 11 January 18:00-20:30
  • Thursday 25 January 18:00-20:30
  • Thursday 1st February 2018 18:00-20:30
  • Thursday 8 February 2018 18:00-20:30
  • Thursday 15 February 2018 18:00-20:30


Participants obtain a certificate at the end of the course (no ECTS credits are gained).

How to Apply

Applications for this short course must be submitted via the online form. If you encounter problems with your application, do not hesitate to contact us.

Your application will need to include:

  • A short motivation letter (no more than one page)
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • Proof of your competence in English (a certificate or statement highlighting your solid background in English)
  • A valid copy of your visa or residence permit (only applicants who require a visa to enter the Schengen area)

Once admitted to the course, participants receive instructions on how to pay. Proof of payment is required before you begin the course.

Professor and Lecturer

Picture of Jérôme de Hemptinne

Jérôme de Hemptinne

Lecturer at the Universities of Louvain, Strasbourg and Lille

Jérôme de Hemptinne's research focuses on modes of liability for international crimes, the qualification of armed conflicts and institutional aspects of international criminal courts and tribunals.


Villa Moynier, 120B Rue de Lausanne, Geneva


Public Transport

Tram 15, Direction Nations - tram stop Butini

Bus 1 or 25, Direction Jardin Botanique - bus stop Sécheron

Access for people with disabilities

Villa Moynier is accessible to people with disabilities. If you have a disability or any additional needs and require assistance in order to participate fully, please email


Map of the Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Online Portal with non-international armed conflicts News

Non-International Armed Conflicts Added to our RULAC Online Database

25 September 2017

Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) online database features new non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) that are taking place in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Somalia. It provides, for each conflict, the factual and methodological basis for its classification and identifies the parties and the applicable international law. Visitors can discover these new NIACs either by browsing the map or by browsing conflicts by type or region.

Read more

Coverpage of the 2016 Annual Report News

2016 Annual Report

12 June 2017

Our 2016 Annual Report is out! It provides an overview of our activities and achievements.

Read more

Peru,  Ayacucho, square. Traditional dancers Spring School

Transitional Justice Spring School: Transitional Justice, Memory and Culture

19-23 March 2018

The Transitional Justice Spring School 2018 aims to address the roles of memory and culture in transitional justice processes through an interdisciplinary, comprehensively structured high-quality one-week programme.

Read more

Trial Chamber hearing in the Ayyash et al. case (Case STL-11-01) - 28 January 2016 Short Course

International Criminal Law: Case Law and Judicial Practice

12 April - 18 May 2018

This course focuses on exploring the major themes of the case law of  the International Criminal Court and several other institutions in areas such as jurisdiction, substantive crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, terrorism), criminal responsibility and major procedural milestones in criminal proceedings.

Read more

Central African Republic, Ouham province, village of Ouogo. International Humanitarian Law dissemination session to members of the Peoples' Army for the Restoration of Democracy. Project

From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms

Started in January 2017

This project aims at compiling and analysing the practice and interpretation of selected international humanitarian law and human rights norms by armed non-state actors (ANSA). It has a pragmatic double objective: first, to offer a comparative analysis of IHL and human rights norms from the perspective of ANSA, and second, to inform strategies of humanitarian engagement with ANSA, in particular the content of a possible ‘Model Code of Conduct’.

Read more

doption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the UN General Assembly, 2 April 2013 Project

The Arms Trade Treaty

Completed in January 2013

The Geneva Academy team followed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations and provided key information on the negotiations, notably via a daily blog.

Read more

How We Work

Our teaching enables specialists to apply legal frameworks to complex situations and challenging processes.

Read more

Executive Education

We provide training and short courses for professionals who want to deepen their expertise in a specific issue.

Read more


Our research examines issues that are under-explored, need clarification, or are unconventional, experimental or challenging.

Read more


Our events provide a critical and scholarly forum for experts and practitioners to debate topical humanitarian, human rights and transitional justice issues.

Read more