Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
As part of the curriculum, our LLM students can participate in the prestigious Jean-Pictet Competition on international humanitarian law (IHL).
The Jean-Pictet Competition is recognized as the leading IHL competition and one of the most innovative training programmes for students in public international law. This week-long event tests students on their knowledge of and ability to implement IHL, as well as other branches of international law, through role-playing exercises based on a hypothetical armed conflict scenario. The dynamic structure of the Competition encourages participants to consider IHL issues from various perspectives, while allowing the jury to evaluate each team's theoretical knowledge, practical understanding and presentation style.
Three students can participate in this leading moot court following a competitive selection process carried out by a Geneva Academy jury. For selected students, participation replaces two optional courses and can be validated for 6 ECTS.
In 2016 the Geneva Academy team won this prominent IHL moot for the first time.
As part of the IHL course, LLM students participate in two public pleadings on specific conflict situations like the Gaza conflict in summer 2014 or the 2008 South Ossetian conflict.
Teams are assigned specific roles and plead, in front of a jury, on concrete issues related to the conflict. These include: classification of conflict and applicable law; classification of territory and persons; killing and destruction of property; use of weapons and precautionary measures during ground and air offensives; targeting of persons; detention of prisoners by armed forces and armed groups.
Our two LLM students, Anna Lochhead-Sperling and Paula Padrino Vilela participated in the oral rounds of the Nelson Mandela Moot Court. A great opportunity to put into practice the human rights notions learned in class, meet other law students from all around the world and train public speaking and presentation skills.
After a reminder on mechanisms established by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional Protocols of 1977, the paper summarily frames the relationship between IHL and international human rights law and assess the competence and practice of political mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well as of universal and regional treaty-based mechanisms.
Two alumni of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Ezequiel Heffes and Manuel Ventura are the editors, along with Marcos Kotlik, of a new book on international humanitarian law and non-state actors.
Participating in the Jean-Pictet Competition has been a unique experience that will always stay with me. Since we started our preparation, we have not only grown personally but the team spirit made us go beyond our preconceived limits.