Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
27 November 2018
Besides an in-depth study of various areas related to transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law via an interdisciplinary programme and an ongoing focus on practice, students of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) will be part of a tailor-made curriculum during the Spring Semester through an innovative three tracks system: Thematic Focus, Clinical Work or Academic Research.
‘Our student body is made of individuals with various backgrounds and experiences, as well as with different career objectives and interests. These three tracks allow them to tailor their studies to their particular interests and better prepare for their future careers’ stresses Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the MTJ.
‘While the places in the three tracks are limited and allocated on the basis of a competitive selection process, we seek to accommodate as much as possible our students’ choices and preferences, while constantly aiming to ensure a high-quality programme’ underlines Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ.
Students who want to develop their expertise on topical issues in a personalized, expert-guided learning environment and in direct interaction with experienced professionals, can choose to follow specific thematic seminars like the rule of law in practice or civil society and transitional justice.
‘In my seminar, The Rule of Law in Practice, we look very concretely at rule of law development programmes from a practitioner’s perspective: how are these programmes designed, how are they implemented, what are the challenges and how is their performance measured’ underlines Nicolas Mansfield, Director of Legal Programs at the East-West Management Institute.
‘My seminar on civil society and transitional justice takes a primarily practice-based approach in looking at the role and engagement of civil society in prompting, engaging in and ensuring the sustainability of transitional justice processes. The course notably focuses on civil society as a transitional justice actor, on the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations, strategic litigation and project cycle management’ explains Alex Conte, Director of Programme Management and Donor Relations at the International Commission of Jurists.
Via this track, selected students can get solid exposure to practical work via research internships with leading actors or participation in the Nuremberg Moot Court on International Criminal Law.
Research internships allow selected students to acquire first-hand professional experience and put in practice what they learn in class. Seminars accompany students during the research internships by providing peer-to-peer support and exchange of ideas.
‘During the 2017–2018 academic year, our students had the opportunity to work on fascinating research projects like development of policies around the access to archives, promoting gender-justice in Sri Lanka or developing terms of reference for transitional justice’ underlines Thomas Unger.
The Nuremberg Moot Court, one of the leading moot court in international criminal justice, allows selected students get exposure to concrete cases, learn how to plead on topical transitional justice issues and have the opportunity to meet other students from all around the world, as well as experts and practitioners.
‘This activity is not limited to the moot court itself: students start their preparation well-ahead via the drafting of court submissions and training on in-court pleading. They are coached by teaching assistants who have participated in moot courts and who have extensive expertise in international criminal law’ stresses Thomas Unger.
This track offers an individualized, seminar-style platform for selected students to deepen and broaden their academic research skills and to develop their own research project.
Working in a small group, students are given the opportunity to develop their research project in an interactive environment, enabling constructive exchanges with fellow students and with experienced researchers sharing their advice and experiences in planning and undertaking research.
‘Students enrolled in this track follow introductory sessions on the aims and methodologies of academic research, seminars to discuss their research proposals, as well as an academic debate session allowing them to critically engage with controversial issues and questions by taking on the role of advocates or critics of particular strands of argument or positions’ underlines Frank Haldemann.
‘Our aim is to create a stimulating and mutually supportive platform for thinking about what academic research involves and how it can be fruitfully carried out in the field of transitional justice’ stresses Frank Haldemann.
Our new publication Transitional Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights systematically reviews and critically discusses the evolving ‘transitional’ jurisprudence of Europe’s main guardian of human rights – the Court in Strasbourg – across highly contentious issues such as amnesty, property rights, along with institutional reform and vetting.
During a dedicated session, students of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law discussed thematic work in the field of transitional justice, how to start a career, career opportunities and skill required for the field.
This annual conference, co-organized with the Human Rights Centre of University of Essex, provides a space to discuss the legal and policy issues that have arisen in the past and the current year in relation to armed conflicts situations.
This project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, investigated the relevance of international law in relation to such demands for reparation.
U.S. Mission Photo/Eric Bridiers
From 2012 to 2015 the Geneva Academy hosted the Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff.