Exceptional Academic Work Recognized with Four Prizes at Graduation Ceremony

2 November 2023

Students enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights or our Master in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law, as well as participants enrolled in the Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict, must submit a master's paper. In this master’s paper, they delve into a specific issue covered in their respective programmes, guided by a faculty member. This process allows them to develop their expertise in a particular subject further and explore the boundaries of protective frameworks, along with strategies to surmount these limitations.

At the graduation ceremony, exceptional academic papers are honoured with four distinguished prizes that acknowledge outstanding academic achievements: the Henry Dunant Research Prize, the Best LLM Paper Prize, the Best MTJ Paper Prize, and, for the inaugural time this year, the Best ExMas Paper Prize.

Two LLM Students Awarded the Henry Dunant Research Prize for Outstanding Papers on Contemporary Humanitarian Issues

For the first time, the jury of the Henry Dunant Research Prize, including Professor Gloria Gaggioli, Anne Quintin (ICRC), Caty Clément (Foundation Prix Henry Dunant), Morgane Desboeufs (Foundation Prix Henry Dunant), Dr Clotilde Pégorier, and François Bugnion (Foundation Prix Henry Dunant), honoured the work of two LLM students, Edward Madziwa and Rodanthi Violaki. Their papers not only displayed exceptional academic quality but also delved into current topics that align with Henry Dunant's mission to protect victims of war and persecution.

Edward Madziwa's paper, titled 'Advancing Honour and Dignity in Death for Victims of Armed Conflicts: Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Humanitarian Forensic Action under International Humanitarian Law' investigates the potential and risks associated with utilizing new technologies to locate missing persons and identify remains and offers normative and operational recommendations to harness the potential while mitigating associated risks.

Rodanthi Violaki's paper, 'The Erosion of the Right to Asylum in Europe: Strategic Litigation for Victims of Harmful Practices before the European Court of Human Rights in their Pursuit of Asylum' analyses the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and provides strategic alternatives for asylum-related cases.

‘Both papers are in line with the themes and combats of Henry Dunant and are of exceptional quality in terms of research. The paper of Mr Madziwa links tradition and modernity as well as an interdisciplinary approach to bridging the gaps between international humanitarian law, international human rights law and new technologies. Ms Violaki's research is very thorough and she is providing a strategy to successfully defend asylum seekers based on the ECtHR case law’ explains our Head of Education Dr Clotilde Pégorier.

LLM Paper Prize: A Feminist Perspective of the 'Any Civilian Population' Requirement in Crimes against Humanity

Belen Guerrero Romero received the 2023 Best LLM Paper Prize for her LLM paper ‘Inter-Party Sexual and Reproductive Violence within Non-State Armed Groups – Questioning the Meaning of the Requirement ‘Any Civilian Population’ in the Definition of Crimes against Humanity’.

‘Ms Guerrero's paper delves into a multifaceted domain encompassing human rights and international criminal law. With a profound understanding of intricate case law, she introduces a gender-focused and feminist perspective to address an exceptionally sensitive issue. The paper boasts a well-documented list of references and a comprehensive bibliography, presenting innovative solutions to a pressing contemporary problem’ highlights Professor Damien Scalia, who supervised Belen Guerrero Romero's LLM paper.

MTJ Paper Prize: Co-Winners on Timely Questions in Transitional Justice

The Best MTJ Paper Prize was awarded to two MTJ students for their remarkable academic work: Alice Langton for her paper titled ‘Conceptualizing Structural Violence and Colonialism as a Turning Point in Transitional Justice: The Case of Australia’ and Tong Li for his paper 'Abusing transitional justice' - Reflection on the holistic approach of transitional justice.


‘The decision to recognize two students with the Best MTJ Paper Prize this year underscores the exceptional quality of their papers. Both students tackled intricate and timely transitional justice issues, offering innovative approaches and solutions. Their work was underpinned by thorough research, extensive review of jurisprudence and innovative proposals and recommendations’ explains Dr Clotilde Pégorier.

Best ExMas Paper Prize: Shaping Legal Norms in the Scientific Community and its Impact on Research and Warfare Development

Katherine Sixt was awarded the Best ExMas Paper Prize for her outstanding work on the normative legal order within the scientific community and its impact on research and warfare development.

In her paper, ‘The Evolution of the Normative Legal Order of the Scientific Community and Its Impact on Research and Warfare Development’, Katherine Sixt skillfully employs the notion of a legal order within the 'community of scientists,' merging her extensive professional background as the Principal Director for Biotechnology in the Office of the US Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering with the legal principles she gained during her studies in the Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict.

‘Given that the Executive Master programme attracts professionals from diverse domains such as humanitarian work, human rights, the military, and justice, the papers produced by our participants – like this one – hold direct significance and practical implications within their respective fields’ explains Dr Pégorier.


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