LLM in IHL and Human Rights: What our Students Say

Tijana Kukanjac is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. In this interview, she tells about her background, the programme and what it will bring to her career.

About Me

My name is Tijana, and I come from Serbia where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in the field of Arabic studies. Right before coming to Geneva, I have completed a master’s programme in international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law in Belgrade.

I have spent a significant part of growing up with the Serbian Red Cross, an organization that played a key role in my first IHL steps. My further volunteering experience in refugee camps in Belgrade, following the 2015 refugee crisis, has strengthened my interest in the humanitarian field.

If there is one thing to know about me, it would be that my two passions in life are mountains and IHL.

Why did you choose the LLM at the Geneva Academy?

Ever since I decided that IHL is what I want to study, the Geneva Academy has been on my mind. I believe there is a tendency in the international community, particularly in academic circles, to keep IHL and the Geneva Academy together: when you think of one, the other follows. I don’t think there is a better place to learn about armed conflicts through the regimes that regulate them than right here in Geneva.

What are you particularly enjoying about this programme?

Being able to not only learn about IHL, international criminal law and human rights, but to do it alongside students from more than 20 different countries is a unique part of this experience. I am also enjoying the level of engagement and interaction during each one of our classes with the world’s leading experts on the other side of the classroom.

Discussing the practical side of the law, its implementation in specific scenarios and field situations through role-playing gives us a very strong basis for the work we are hoping to conduct in the future.

Would you Recommend it?

I would highly recommend this LLM programme to everyone who wants to specialize in this field. A perfect balance of academic and practical approaches gives you everything you need, and for any specific interest, there is a variety of impressive optional courses.

The scholarship options for studying at the Geneva Academy are highly worth mentioning. Receiving a full scholarship has allowed me to be here today, studying IHL.

What are you planning to do next?

I see my future in an international organization, working on the implementation of IHL in the field. My interests lie in the MENA region as well as in the use of new technologies in contemporary armed conflicts. This LLM programme certainly plays a critical role in that sense and aims at preparing students for succeeding in such aspirations.

Why did you choose to be photographed on the Terrace of the Grand Morillon Student Residence?

I chose the terrace of the Grand Morillon Student Residence because seeing this view for the first time was the moment when I became aware of the reality and of the opportunity I was given. Like on the palm of your hand, you can see the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations, and Villa Moynier – what a view!


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