19 January 2017
In this interview, Laura Baron-Mendoza, currently enrolled in the LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
Before studying at the Geneva Academy, Laura was working as a legal consultant developing legal strategies and formulating public policy guidelines to implement the partial agreement on Rural Reform between the Colombian Government and FARC-EP.
The LLM exceeded my expectations. It is a complete programme, which integrates various branches of international law and shows its implementation from different mind-sets and angles. This not only serves to satisfy the interests of all students, who come from different backgrounds but, more importantly, allows us to have an integral and practical outlook when analyzing diverse situations in armed conflict or different scenarios of violence.
It is a city with a vast and peculiar human wealth. To walk through its streets is to appreciate new cultures and religions, to hear different languages at the same time and to understand that the majority has a story to tell (maybe to hide) before coming to a city that permits one to be oneself - as Jorge Luis Borges used to say. Living in Geneva is doing an ethnography every time you step outside, in which you start by perceiving that the coexistence respecting the difference is not a utopia but a palpable reality.
I describe Geneva as a mystery to discover every day. Along the cobbled and labyrinthine paths of the old town, you can feel the shadows of great Latin American characters like Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. Its streets are made to transport you to other times, to get lost and, in the end, to return to reality in the Place de Bourg de Four.
Joshua Niyo is the first recipient of this new prize for his paper ‘Legal Obligations for Armed Non-State Actors: Can IHL and IHRL Learn from Each Other?’.
In this interview, our alumna Jelena Plamenac, an international humanitarian lawyer with over 10 years’ experience in practicing humanitarian and human rights law in international criminal justice systems and humanitarian organizations, tells us about the programme and what it brought to her career.