Two Geneva Academy Teams Will Participate in the Prestigious Jean-Pictet Competition

15 January 2024

For the first time, two Geneva Academy teams will participate in the prestigious Jean-Pictet Competition: a Francophone team and an Anglophone one. Each team consists of three students from both our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, as well as our Master in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

‘We are thrilled that six of our distinguished students will be able to learn, compete and meet as per the three objectives of the Competition. Being a contestant is a major asset for anyone wishing to work in the field of IHL. The Jean-Pictet Competition – which forms an integral part of both programmes – not only allows students to put into practice what they learn in class, it is also a unique human experience. Participants have the chance to connect with peers from around the word, as well as with experts and practitioners who share the same passion and interest for IHL’ explains our Head of Education Dr Clotilde Pégorier.

‘Preparation is very demanding and comes on top of the preparation for the various courses of the two programmes. This shows the commitment but also the engagement of our students. But it is also very rewarding: students not only learn to apply the law to concrete cases but also acquire invaluable soft skills like the ability to work in a team, to convince an audience, to argue about a case and to negotiate’ she adds.

The Francophone Team

Eva Patricia Contreras, Yasmeen M'sadek and Hélène Perot will represent the Geneva Academy at the 42nd Francophone Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that will take place in Bredene, Belgium, from 25 February to 3 March 2024.

They are coached – in their preparation – by our Research Fellow Dr Eugénie Duss.

Eva Patricia Contreras

Eva is enrolled in our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in general law, Eva pursued a master's in international and European criminal law. During her academic journey, she engaged in the Claude Lombois Moot Court Competition, revealing her passion for oral argumentation. Before joining us, she gained first-hand experience by completing internships with a human rights advocacy NGO in Togo and at the International Criminal Court.

‘I am grateful to participate in the Jean Pictet Competition. This experience aligns seamlessly with my previous endeavours and is particularly relevant to my future professional plans.’

Photo of Eva Patricia Contreras

Yasmeen M'sadek

Yasmeen, enrolled in our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, kick-started her academic journey at the University of Exeter where she earned a bachelor's degree in law. Eager to explore the complexities of global legal systems, she then pursued a master's in international law and governance at the University of Durham, broadening her understanding of international legal mechanisms and human rights issues. In addition to her academic journey, she has actively engaged, since high school, in various associations that address pressing social issues. At the University of Exeter, she became part of the Junior Lawyers Against Poverty Association. These experiences shaped her perspective on the role of law in addressing societal challenges and fuelled her determination to contribute meaningfully to humanitarian causes on a global scale.

‘Through these endeavours, I have come to appreciate the transformative power of legal advocacy in fostering positive change and upholding the principles of justice. Participating in the Jean-Pictet Competition is a pivotal opportunity and a crucial stepping-stone for my envisioned future work in the humanitarian field. This esteemed competition has not only deepened my understanding of international humanitarian law but has also provided a platform to hone practical skills essential for effective engagement in complex humanitarian situations.’

Photo of Yasmeen M'sadek

Hélène Perot

Hélène Perot, enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, holds a bachelor’s degree in law and two master’s degrees in international law from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, as well as an LLM from the City University of Hong Kong. In parallel to her academic journey, she undertook legal intern positions in law firms in the field of criminal law, human rights and environmental law, as well as in an organization for Luxembourg’s development cooperation based in Laos where she focused on international criminal law standards, and their implementation at the domestic level. Throughout her path, she developed a passion for public international law and international issues while refining her ambition to engage in the field of human rights violations.

‘I look forward to taking up Pictet’s challenge to solve unexpected and complex situations while being confronted with the crucial interplay of IHL with other branches of public international law.’

Photo of Hélène Perot

The Anglophone Team

Maria Clara Carmona Monsalve, Ayomide Johnson and Jonas Skorzak will represent the Geneva Academy at the 44th Anglophone Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that will take place in Pokhara, Nepal, from 19 to 26 April 2024.

They are coached – in their preparation – by our Teaching Assistant Mina Radončić, who also participated with the Geneva Academy in the Jean-Pictet Competition back in 2021.

Maria Clara Carmona Monsalve

Clara is currently pursuing our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law. Before joining our programme, she gained valuable experience as an intern in the precautionary measures section of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In this role, Clara meticulously analysed diverse human rights situations across the Americas. Clara also brings a robust academic and professional background in research development, with a specific focus on ethnic rights and peacebuilding.

‘The opportunity to take part in the Jean-Pictet Competition is truly thrilling, not just for the competition’s sake but for the rigorous preparatory work it involves. Engaging in this process has already provided me with practical insights into the intricacies of humanitarian work that go beyond what books can convey. In a world confronted by various situations of violence and humanitarian crisis, acquiring these skills is, in my view, essential.’

Photo of Maria Clara Carmona Monsalve

Ayomide Johnson

Ayomide is currently pursuing our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Before joining us, he worked on advocacy and public interest cases related to civil and socio-economic rights in Nigeria. As a dedicated human rights lawyer, Ayomide presented compelling arguments before both domestic courts in Nigeria and the West African court, addressing critical issues such as arbitrary detention, press freedom, and the environmental rights of marginalized oil-producing communities.

Ayomide was also part of the International Advocacy and Litigation Team at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. In this position, he focused on defending the rights of sexual minorities in Uganda, combatting enforced disappearance in Rwanda, and safeguarding civic spaces in West Africa.

‘The competition has afforded my teammates and me the opportunity of a lifetime – to take the law out of the books and apply it to real-life scenarios. The Pictet experience equips a few select students with the practice and pragmatism of IHL, and this has always proved more rewarding than the classroom routines of theories and texts. I am grateful for dedicated team members and an excellent coach; the world is our oyster.’

Photo of Ayomide Johnson

Jonas Skorzak

Jonas is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Before joining our programme, he worked as a Human Rights Officer for Professor Ahmed Shaheed, supporting his mandate as United Nations Special (UN) Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. In this capacity, Jonas contributed to projects on religious freedom in Uzbekistan and initiatives aimed at countering Islamophobia.

Previously, he obtained a master’s degree in human rights from Sciences Po and worked for the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva. Jonas has a specific interest in the impact of counter-terrorism measures on human rights, the protection of minorities in conflict, and the use of data science for legal purposes.

‘It is one thing to learn the law in class or study it in the library, it is a wholly different thing to apply it on the spot in various simulation scenarios. The unique format of the Pictet Competition is what drew my interest in the first place. But the preparation phase already presents a fantastic opportunity to get to grips with the laws applicable in armed conflicts, also thanks to our amazing coach Mina.’

Photo of Jonas Skorzak


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