Students Address Current Challenges in IHL, Human Rights and Transitional Justice in their Master's Papers

Keywords related to students' master's papers Keywords related to students' master's papers

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.

From Armed Groups's Obligations to Protect Cultural Heritage to Targeting in the Context of Autonomous Weapons Systems

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.

Looking at Transitional Justice in Non-Traditional Conflicts like Mexico’s War on Drugs or at Peacekeeping and Local Justice Initiatives in South Sudan

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.

Participation in an Academic Track

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.

Awards

Awarded every year during the Graduation Ceremony, the Best MTJ Paper Prize and the Best LLM Paper Prize distinguish two students for a paper of exceptional academic quality.

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.

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