In this interview, Tafadzwa Christmas, a Zimbabwean student enrolled in the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
Tafadzwa Christmas is a lawyer, who has worked in Zimbabwe and regionally as a human rights advocate and transitional justice practitioner.
The programme manages to strike a great balance between theoretical studies and practical training. It is a must for every practitioner in the area of transitional justice, human rights and rule of law!
The programme has met my expectations as it seeks to mould an all-round professional who is not only able to function as a practitioner but also to comprehend and articulate the conceptual intricacies of the complex nexus interlinking transitional justice as a field, human rights and the rule of law. The lectures conducted by world renowned academics and leading practitioners are stimulating, enriching and enjoyable!
Geneva is a cosmopolitan city. It exudes with diversity and acts as a meeting place for people from diverse cultures and societies. It is also a city filled with historical relics. This atmosphere of diversity, richness in historical heritage together with the back-drop of impressive towering buildings, housing not only UN offices but also various other multinational and global organizations, creates an inspirational environment.
The classes are also made up of diverse students from all over the world. This creates a great interactive platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences, making new professional contacts and learning about other cultures.
The efficient transport system makes is possible to move about the city conveniently and easily, which is perfect both for commuting to and from classes and also for exploring! There is a lot see and a lot of places to visit and for the adventurer, Geneva can easily be a gateway to other nearby European cities and towns.
The summer is quite warm and the winter though chilly at times, is nothing a good jacket, woollen hat and scarf cannot beat.
The Villa Moynier which now houses the Geneva Academy is a historic building which resonates with the spirit of humanitarianism passed on through generations from Gustave Moynier, the first President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to all of us today. It is inspiring having lectures in the villa which once housed countless iconic figures. The Villa to me stands as a perpetual call to join the luminaries of the past who worked in it, to also work to make our world a better place.
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.
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law will have the opportunity, during the Spring semester, to follow an optional course on the Islamic law of armed conflict. The course is also open to a limited number of external participants.
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.
As a comprehensive attempt to ‘codify’ universal accountability norms, the UN Principles marked a significant step forward in the debate on the obligation of states to combat impunity in its various forms. Despite this significance, no comprehensive academic commentary of the 38 principles has yet been provided so far. This project seeks to fill this gap.