Transitional justice is a well-established, multidisciplinary field of academic inquiry and practical policy-making. It examines how societies that emerge from periods of civil war or oppressive government can deal with the legacy of human rights (HR) abuses.
In theory and practice, it focuses on practical measures and mechanisms such as criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations and institutional reform, including post-conflict rule of law building (See, for example, the UN Secretary General’s report on the rule of law and transitional justice).
The Geneva Academy is a leading research and education institution in the field of transitional justice. Students enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) programme are taught by leading academics in the field.
We have developed close collaborations with Geneva-based agencies active in the area of transitional justice, HR and the rule of law. We regularly welcome their experts at events, policy discussions and taught sessions. Thanks to these collaborations, our MTJ programme offers students numerous internship and networking opportunities, which allow them to gain practical experience and make useful contacts for their careers.
Our MTJ is a unique and innovative programme that combines high-level academic education and real-world practice in the field of transitional justice. One of the very few courses on this subject in Europe, it focuses on an expanding field where there is a strong need for well-trained professionals.
Clinical work and research internships allow students to gather first-hand experience and practical knowledge of different facets of transitional justice, HR and the rule of law.
During the year, our students also have access to a rich network of experts and practitioners. They also receive individual guidance and one-to-one counselling by means of academic mentoring and career coaching.
Clinical work and research internships allow students to gather first-hand experience and practical knowledge of different facets of transitional justice, HR and the rule of law with prominent actors in the field such as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) or the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.
The Geneva Academy offers a number of full scholarships (covering tuition fees and living expenses in Geneva for ten months) and partial scholarships (covering tuition fees).
Scholarships are awarded to outstanding candidates who lack the financial resources to cover the tuition fee and/or cost of living in Geneva.
The MTJ combines theoretical knowledge with clinical work and internships. It thus provides a solid foundation for careers in transitional justice with international organizations, NGOs, international courts and tribunals, development agencies, governments and academic institutions. In recent years, these institutions have increasingly been recruiting transitional justice experts to work in the field or at their headquarters.
During the year, our students have access to a rich network of experts and practitioners. They also receive individual guidance and one-to-one counselling by means of academic mentoring and career coaching. Furthermore, they can use the Careers Service of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
The Geneva Academy does not offer PhD programmes. Yet, a number of graduates have been accepted in PhD programmes at the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and other universities.
Professionals or academics who are not enrolled in the MTJ programme can take short courses to deepen their expertise in a specific issue. The Spring School, a special one-week course organized to discuss cutting-edge issues in transitional justice, is also open to external participants.
Attending these courses gives participants the opportunity to draw on the comprehensive expertise of the Faculty, meet key experts and practitioners, and interact with students.
The MTJ is a full-time programme and no distance-learning courses are offered.
The MTJ is a one-year programme and does not provide for exchange programmes.
Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (60 ECTS credits), awarded by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
We are looking for students who possess a law degree or an equivalent degree relevant to transitional justice (such as international relations, political science, sociology, anthropology or history); have a demonstrable interest in legal issues related to transitional justice and are proficient in English. Practical experience and a command of French are an asset.
You may apply for the MTJ during the last year of your degree. We will consider and assess your application based on a current transcript and grades obtained so far.
If we offer you a place, it will be conditional and you must send your final results and evidence that your degree has been awarded as soon as these become available. The final decision will depend on whether you meet the specific requirements (minimum grades) that the Admissions Committee sets.
Previously unsuccessful candidates can reapply. This will not have a negative influence on the selection process.
It is not possible to defer an offer. If you have to defer your enrollment in the programme, you will need to reapply and be considered with the new pool of candidates.
Students who are nationals of countries outside the European Union (EU) need a visa to enter Switzerland and to stay for more than three months.
Students should consult the nearest Swiss embassy about the procedure. Because the visa process may take several weeks to a few months, students should apply to the nearest Swiss embassy as soon as they have been admitted to the programme.
Geneva offers an excellent quality of life: international quality of life indices consistently rank it among the top ten cities in the world.
As the European headquarters of the United Nations (UN) and the most active location in the world for multilateral diplomacy, Geneva is home to dozens of international organizations, more than 250 NGOs and 174 state representations, with more than 29,000 persons employed in this sector.
Every week, events organized by the Geneva Academy, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the University of Geneva, international organizations and NGOs feature leading experts in the area of transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law. These events directly touch upon topics addressed in the programme.
The city is clean and safe, with high-quality public facilities. It is easy to get around either by bicycle or public transport.
As a multicultural city with more than 180 nationalities, Geneva has a vibrant cultural life – a broad range of music concerts, music festivals, dance, opera, a variety of movies, art galleries, theatres and museums. A significant number of these cultural offers are accessible to English speakers.
Geneva Academy students have access to the University of Geneva’s sports and cultural facilities. At the Graduate Institute Ciné-club, students can attend free film screenings, which are followed by a debate.
To meet living costs, students will need a minimum of about 1,600–2,000 Swiss Francs per month if they live in a student's residence and 1,900–2,100 Swiss Francs per month if they live in a private residence.
Our students receive a residence permit on arrival, which allows nationals from the EU to work up to 15 hours a week. It is possible to work full-time (40 hours a week) during official holidays.
Non-EU students, however, are not allowed to undertake paid work for the first six months of their stay. After six months, they can work up to 15 hours a week, except during official holidays when it is possible to work full-time (40 hours a week).
As the MTJ is a full-time intensive programme, we would not advise our students to find intensive employment that might interfere with their academic performance.
Students should start looking for accommodation as soon as they have been admitted to the programme.
The Geneva Academy can only provide a few places in student accommodation. We therefore encourage students to look for their own accommodation and not count on what is available via the Geneva Academy.
Students of the MTJ can extend their residence permit for up to six months following the completion of the programme (July to December) to undertake an internship or a temporary assignment related to their studies in a Geneva-based institution, and/or to look for a job in Geneva or Switzerland.