MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law: What our Students Say

Portrait of Luisa Fernanda Gómez Betancur in front of Geneva Lake. Portrait of Luisa Fernanda Gómez Betancur in front of Geneva Lake.

29 January 2019

In this interview, Luisa Fernanda Gómez Betancur, currently enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ), tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.

About Me

I’m Luisa Fernanda and am from Manizales, Colombia, a city in the well-known coffee region in the Andean mountain chain. I started my career in law at the Universidad de Caldas and later on, I pursued specialized studies in constitutional law at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Before coming to Geneva, I worked for six years at the Constitutional Court of Colombia. During my time as a public servant, I notably dealt with cases related to environmental justice, the human rights of indigenous communities as well as the victims of the internal armed conflict.

All my life I’ve been fascinated with movement, and that might be the reason why I have danced since I was seven years old. It has been my happy place since then: it is my way to meditate in motion. In addition, I’m also a big fan of travelling.

Why did you choose the MTJ at the Geneva Academy?

Colombia is pursuing a transition to a post-conflict setting after large-scale political violence. The complexities of this kind of processes deal not only with legal dimensions but also social, political and cultural variables. The MTJ at Geneva Academy offers me an interdisciplinary platform to reflect in-depth upon tough questions about justice, peace or truth that form part of the transitional justice framework and whose understanding has critical implications for people’s lives in my country and in others regions as well.

What are you Enjoying in your Studies?

I find fascinating to be part of a classroom with 27 fellow students from 25 different countries and being able to share different understandings and values of the world. In a way, every day the Geneva Academy, is a celebration of diversity.

How is the Teaching?

One of the elements that create a holistic focus of the programme is the teaching. Professors at the Geneva Academy are not just rigorous from an academic perspective, but their experience and ‘on the ground’ exposure create an environment in which conversations, inquiries and discussions are granted an immense value; and as if that wasn’t enough, Geneva is by itself a huge classroom. Cultural and academic events offered in the city are limitless, and these offer an opportunity to further the learning experience.

What are you Planning to do Next?

Colombia is going through a historical transition full of hope, but also very fragile. Undoubtedly, I would like to be part of this process and contribute by using the academic and practical tools learned here which will allow me to face the complexity of this transitional process.

Why did you Choose to be Photographed in front of Geneva Lake?

Public spaces in cities are shrinking and becoming more scarce. The Geneva Lake is a living example of public land that is valued collectively. The lake represents to me that powerful idea of communal goods.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Map of the RULAC online portal with the pop-up window of the non-international armed conflicts in Mali. News

Mali: Several Non-International Armed Conflicts with Various Insurgent Groups

31 January 2019

Since 2012, the Government of Mali has engaged in multiple and overlapping non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) against various insurgent groups. Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict online portal provides a detailed analysis and legal classification of these NIACs, including information about parties to these conflicts.

Read more

Students during the 2019 Spring School News

Students Design the Mandate of a Truth Commission to Address Past Human Rights Abuses

21 May 2019

During three days, students of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law immersed, via a practical exercise and in the context of the 2019 Spring School, in the design and establishment of a truth commission to address past human rights abuses.

Read more

Sculpture realized to illustrate thre UDHR Event

Book Launch: Modes of Liability in International Criminal Law

29 October 2019, 18:30-20:00

On the occasion of the launch of Modes of Liability in International Criminal Law, based on research undertaken at the Geneva Academy, panelists will discuss questions related to criminal responsibility for international crimes.

Read more

Belt of police officers with a Taser Event

Launch: United Nations Human Rights Guidance on Less Lethal Weapons

25 October 2019, 13:15-14:45

This event marks the launch of the UN Human Rights Guidance on Less Lethal Weapons, the outcome of research and consultations carried out under the Geneva Academy and Pretoria University auspices.

Read more

Ntaganda case: Closing statements.  The closing statements in the case of The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) started on 28 August 2018 before Trial Chamber VI at the seat of the Court in The Hague (Netherlands). Short Course

The Challenges of International Criminal Justice

9-24 January 2020

This short course intends to provide participants with a solid understanding of the existing pluralistic system of international accountability for international crimes and of its main challenges.

Read more

Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Central Park. A pedestrian is looking at portraits of missing persons during the International Day of Missing Persons. Returned migrants and relatives of the missing painted a moveable mural. Short Course

Confronting the Truth: The Functions, Practices and Challenges of Truth Commissions

31 March - 2 April 2020

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.

Read more

Séléka rebels patrol in the town of Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). Project

Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Started in June 2018

This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

Read more