Master in Transitional Justice: What our Students Say

In this interview, Owiso Owiso, currently enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.

About Me

I am ‘a citizen of East Africa’ born to a Kenyan father and a Tanzanian mother. I hold a Bachelor of Laws Degree from The University of Nairobi and a Master of Laws Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria. I briefly worked at the Kenyan Senate in Nairobi before going into private legal practice.

I like reading and writing and I also talk quite a lot! The less mundane things I do include stargazing and drinking wine (though good wine in Geneva is beyond my student budget)!

Why did you choose the Master in Transitional Justice at the Geneva Academy?

The Geneva Academy is renowned for its world-class expertise in transitional justice characterised by renowned academics and researchers and its close working relationship with relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations. It is this robust academic, research and policy-development environment that attracted me. For anyone considering an international career in transitional justice and related fields, the Geneva Academy is your foot in the door!

What are you particularly enjoying about your studies?

The programme deeply engages students in the philosophical and academic approaches to transitional justice and exposes them to the practice of transitional justice through regular interaction with practitioners in Geneva and in the field. As such, the programme prepares students to be well-rounded professionals capable of navigating the complex field of transitional justice and making useful contributions towards the sustainable resolution of some of the most protracted challenges of our time.

How is the teaching?

The teaching methodology eschews traditional ‘lecture’ methods and instead combines innovative pedagogical methods with relevant practical engagements such as transitional justice clinics; transitional justice cafés; case simulations; and group assignments and presentations. Further, despite their hectic schedules, the professors always make time for students in need of further consultations. The point of this multi-pronged approach is to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

What are you planning to do next?

My desire is to contribute in a significant way towards sustainable peace, development and respect for human rights in the world. With the theoretical, research, analytical and practical skills gained here, I hope to join the United Nations or the African Union and positively contribute to their peace, accountability, humanitarian and human rights initiatives.

How is life in Geneva?

Geneva is the most multi-cultural and cosmopolitan city I have lived in; I get to meet people from diverse cultures and from almost all corners of the world. There is always something happening in Geneva (events, conferences, etc.), so every day is a learning and networking experience for anyone contemplating an international career!

Socially, however, Geneva is quite dull. Nonetheless, the student community in Geneva always finds ingenious ways of lighting up the city!

Why did you choose to be photographed in front of the Lake?

I spent a significant part of my childhood in a lakeside town in Kenya so I have a special attachment to lakes. Beyond the sentimental aspect, Lake Geneva is arguably the most beautiful thing in the city. Whenever I’m feeling a bit weighed down by the pressures of student life, I sit by the lake and take in its beauty and serenity; I think it has some therapeutic effect.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Portrait of Martina Salini in fron of the Japanese pagoda in Geneva's botanical gardens News

LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights: What our Students Say

11 December 2017

In this interview, Martina Salini, currently enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, tells us about the programme, teaching, life in Geneva and what she plans to do after.

Read more

Transitional Justice Café on Memorialization in Russia and the Balkans News

Transitional Justice Cafés: Meeting the Actors and Tackling the Challenges

10 July 2017

From the peace agreement in Colombia to the situation in the Central African Republic or the role of armed non-state actors in transitional justice processes, seven Transitional Justice Cafés allowed students of the Master in Transitional Justice to discuss topical issues with leading expert in the field.

Read more

South Ossetia, Georgia, 2009: Tskhinvali. A year after the conflict that divided South Ossetians and Georgians, much of the town of Tskhinvali is still badly damaged. Event

Public Pleadings by LLM Students on the 2008 South Ossetian Conflict

31 May 2018, 09:00-16:00

In the framework of the LLM course on international humanitarian law (IHL) given by Professor Gloria Gaggioli, students will plead for Russia and Georgia arguing that the side they represent respected IHL while the adverse side has violated IHL.

Read more

Picture of students during class in the Cassese Room of the Villa Moynier Event

Open House: Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict

14 June 2018, 12:30-13:30

Join us during our open house to learn more about this part-time programme designed professionals, meet and exchange with staff, students and alumni, and discuss career opportunities.

Read more

UN Peacekeepers on Patrol in Abyei, Sudan. Zambian peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) patrol streets lined with looted items awaiting collection in Abyei, the main town of the disputed Abyei area on the border of Sudan and newly Project

The Intersection between Transitional Justice, International Security and Responsibility to Protect

Started in February 2017

This project aims at mapping various existing accountability mechanisms, in the context of military interventions, through the lens of the requirements of a transitional justice process in order to identify possibilities and gaps.

Read more

Peru, Ayacucho. An event to honor the disappeared on the Day of the Dead. Project

The United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity: A Commentary

Completed in January 2013

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.

Read more