12 June 2018
Students of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) had the opportunity to meet leading practitioners to discuss various career paths in the field of transitional justice.
During a dedicated session, they discussed thematic work in the field of transitional justice, how to start a career, career opportunities and skill required for the field.
There was a consensus that the field is growing and that there are more jobs today than there were 15 years ago. Challenges, such as high competition in the application process, how to get first field experience and legal barriers for students from the global south to work in Europe were also debated, with practitioners providing guidance and sharing their own experiences.
Philip Grant, Director of Trial International, Katia Papagianni, Director for Policy and Mediation Support at the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, Samuel Emonet, Director of Operations at Justice Rapid Reponse, Victoria Kuhn, Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on Transitional Justice at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Oliver Jütersonke, Head of Research at the Center on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding shared with students their daily work and responsibilities, career path as well as tips and practical advice on how to start working in the field of transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law.
‘These discussions with professionals coming from different backgrounds and working for international organizations, NGOs or academic institutions provide our students with a very good insight into a career path in the field of transitional justice and therefore allows them to better choose their career path after the completion of our master’ underlines Thomas Unger, co-director of the MTJ.
‘I met with highly motivated and talented students and I look forward seeing them working in the field of transitional justice and international justice. We need such well-trained professionals to join us in the fight against impunity and in supporting victims in their quest for justice’ stresses Philip Grant.
‘Beyond Geneva-based organizations, there are many local NGOs and grassroots initiatives that are also offering internship opportunities and short-term field postings. This gives young professionals a first-hand experience and allows them to address concrete transitional justice and human rights issues’ adds Oliver Jütersonke.
‘The international human rights and humanitarian field is expanding, as more organizations are being formed and existing organizations grow. It is a good time for young people to enter the field and make a contribution to the field’ says Katia Papagianni.
Throughout the year, the MTJ puts specific emphasis in providing students with real-world perspectives and in allowing them to develop their networks. This career session, along with other activities, fits into this objective.
‘These exchanges allow our students to develop their network and learn about various transitional justice jobs and career opportunities’ underlines Frank Haldemann, co-director of the MTJ.
‘Getting to meet actors and experts working in the field of transitional justice was a very good opportunity to learn from their experiences: it was encouraging to understand the reasons that guided them to commit themselves to human rights protection’ underlines Irene Izquieta, currently enrolled in the MTJ. ‘Listening to them and their life stories gave me a chance to think and reflect on my own path and what has inspired me to dedicate my life to this field’ she adds.
‘Having an exchange with transitional justice practitioners was very inspiring: they shared their experiences with us and told us why they decided to go for the path of the defence of human rights’ stresses Mary Diaz Marquez, currently enrolled in the MTJ. ‘They also encouraged us to keep on going despite the obstacles that come up our way: it was a great way of helping us to prepare for what is coming ahead’.
In a very short time, our institution, like many others, had to adapt to the current situation and rethink the way we operate, work, conduct research and transfer knowledge to our students, as well as via our events and conferences.
Yulia Mogutova is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. From 7 to 14 March, she will travel to Bali, Indonesia to represent the Geneva Academy at the Anglophone Edition of the 2020 Jean-Pictet Competition – along with Chiemelie Michael Agu and Melina Fidelis Tzourou.
This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.
UN Photo/Stuart Price
This project aims at mapping various existing accountability mechanisms, in the context of military interventions, through the lens of the requirements of a transitional justice process in order to identify possibilities and gaps.