Sandra Pointet/Geneva Academy
24 September 2018
Our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (LLM) and Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) involve the drafting of a paper on a specific issue addressed in the programme, under the guidance of a faculty member.
‘This forms part of both programmes and gives students an opportunity to investigate a subject of special interest to them and to deepen their knowledge and expertise through research as well as exchanges with experts, scholars and practitioners’ stresses Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
‘Every year, we are thrilled by the originality of the topics chosen by some of our students, as well as by the quality of their papers’ underlines Marco Sassòli. ‘It’s always a pleasure to see how students use what they’ve learned in class to discuss and analyse a specific issue and develop their own critical thinking on it’ he adds.
To name but a few, LLM papers notably discussed the legal norms governing the return and reintegration of refugees in a post-conflict environment, the obligations of armed groups regarding the protection of cultural heritage in situations of non-international armed conflicts, the causes and consequences of the lack of a universal definition of the crime of terrorism under international criminal law, international humanitarian law obligations and humanitarian relief operations, or targeting in the context of autonomous weapons systems.
For the MTJ, papers notably addressed the usefulness of the International Criminal Court’s Trust Fund for Victims in transitional justice contexts, the role of transitional justice processes in divided societies, the European Court of Human Rights’ reluctance to deal with historical truth, transitional justice in non-traditional conflicts like Mexico and the war on drugs, or the contribution of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan peacekeeping mandate to local justice initiatives.
For the first time, a limited number of MTJ students could follow, as an option during the second semester, an academic track which involves participation in seminar-style discussions about their paper project, participation in academic debates on controversial issues and the writing of an extended paper.
‘This track is addressed to students having an interest in pursuing academic research, and particularly a PhD project in order to introduce them to the tools of academic research and to stimulate peer-discussions about complex theoretical issues within the field of transitional justice’ underlines Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ.
‘Five students participated and have written their papers on a variety of cutting-edge themes and topics, including constitution-making in Sri Lanka, psycho-social reintegration of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, truth-telling in the Philippines, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia and South Africa’s transition to democracy viewed through the lens of ‘radical evil’’ underlines Frank Haldemann.
The Henry Dunant Prize is presented to an LLM graduating student for an original and didactical paper that deepens, strengthens and renews the ideals and commitment of Henry Dunant.
In an event co-organized with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York, two of the authors – Noam Lubell and Jelena Pejic – presented the 16 guidelines before a full room of delegates from the UN General Assembly First and Sixth Commissions, UN agencies, and experts.
At an expert conference co-organized with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, 30 UN treaty body (TB) experts, academics, national and international NGOs and governmental representatives discussed the implementation of a new mechanism aimed at improving the work of UN TBs, the TRIP: Technical Review of Implementation Progress.
This event marks the launch in Geneva of the book International Humanitarian Law and Non-State Actors: Debates, Law and Practice.
Robin Geiß, Swiss Chair of IHL at the Geneva Academy, will explore the disruptive potential of new military technologies with a focus on those areas where these technologies could fall through the cracks of the international legal order.
Truth Commissions are by now an integral part of the transitional justice vocabulary and practice. This short course will provide a comprehensive, multidimensional and practical examination of this transitional justice mechanism, shedding light on both its aims and the practical challenges it has met or is likely to meet.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.
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.