30 April 2020
Despite confinement, social distancing and a programme that is now entirely online, students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights managed to pursue, albeit remotely, their precious interactions, discussions and social life.
Various initiatives, developed by students allowed them to share ideas, discuss topics addressed in class and prepare for their career after the diploma.
‘It is great to see that our students are creative and continue to organize several events and discussions – now online. These significantly enrich the programme and it is very reassuring to see that this can continue in the current context!’ underlines Professor Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
In this event organized by Chanel Chauvet and Lisa Borden, Lisa Borden shared some tips that she wished that someone had given her in her earlier career, along with tips that she has shared with some of her Associates when she worked as a Partner at a major law firm in the US. The 20 tips ran from applying for new jobs to dealing with a supervisor, dealing with supervised staff or writing.
‘I thought it was important to arrange this sort of event during this time because over the last few months we, as Geneva Academy students, have learned so much about the world not only through our professors but also through each other. This was another great opportunity to capitalize on the experiences of one of our fellow colleagues even when we are apart from each other. It was also a great learning opportunity that will help us to enhance our future work performances’ explains Chanel Chauvet.
In another session, students had the opportunity to exchange with Denise Duran, Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an organization in which she has served for over 25 years, about her career, current responsibilities and general advice for a career in the humanitarian field.
‘We will continue with these exchanges as the sessions with our classmate Lisa Borden and Denise Duran, have received great feedback’ explains Chanel Chauvet.
Other similar exchanges are therefore in the pipeline, notably with Evelyn Murphy from the World Health Organization on the intersection of IHL, human rights, and public health and opportunities available in the field, with Deborah Greenfield, ILO's Deputy Director-General for Policy, as well as with Randy Bagwell, who served as a legal advisor in the US Army for 30 years and now works for the American Red Cross.
Students are also organizing a discussion in May with Professor Marco Sassòli on humanitarian diplomacy and negotiations.
‘Throughout the year, Professor Sassòli has instructed us in what we should all say and refrain from saying in various types of situations, including as a delegate before states or armed groups, or while working to gain humanitarian access. Given his extraordinary career, the class was interested to hear Professor Sassòli discuss humanitarian diplomacy generally, along with information and tips concerning how to conduct such negotiations. In this session, there will be a special focus on negotiating with armed groups and states’ says Chanel Chauvet.
Additionally, the LLM Student Council – Chanel Chauvet, Melina Fidels Tzourou and Fabrizio Locuratolo – will organize an online ‘Career Day’ session in May where a panel of three professionals will discuss their work and career tips.
‘We are all coming up with new ideas constantly, so we will have more events in the upcoming months!’ underlines Chanel Chauvet.
The Geneva Academy is also organizing an online seminar on weapons law for students enrolled in our three programmes – LLM in IHL and Human Rights, MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law and Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict – with Eric Steinmyller, a specialist with a large military background.
‘This seminar will allow students to acquire new knowledge, tools and skills related to the legal framework applicable to weapons and reflect on how IHL and international human rights law regulate the use of weapons. Their exchange with an expert and practitioner on law enforcement issue will also allow them to reflect on their application to concrete cases and scenarios’ explains Professor Marco Sassòli.
Melina Fidelis Tzourou is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. From 7 to 14 March, she will travel to Bali, Indonesia to represent the Geneva Academy at the Anglophone Edition of the 2020 Jean-Pictet Competition – along with Chiemelie Michael Agu and Yulia Mogutova.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Dr Annyssa Bellal is a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and our Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law (IHL). She currently works on a research project on armed groups and IHL.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
This online IHL Talk will provide an overview of the rules of international law providing protection to the natural environment, as well as of initiatives aimed at clarifying and/or reinforcing such rules.
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.