30 April 2020
Despite confinement, social distancing and a programme that is now entirely online, students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights managed to pursue, albeit remotely, their precious interactions, discussions and social life.
Various initiatives, developed by students allowed them to share ideas, discuss topics addressed in class and prepare for their career after the diploma.
‘It is great to see that our students are creative and continue to organize several events and discussions – now online. These significantly enrich the programme and it is very reassuring to see that this can continue in the current context!’ underlines Professor Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
In this event organized by Chanel Chauvet and Lisa Borden, Lisa Borden shared some tips that she wished that someone had given her in her earlier career, along with tips that she has shared with some of her Associates when she worked as a Partner at a major law firm in the US. The 20 tips ran from applying for new jobs to dealing with a supervisor, dealing with supervised staff or writing.
‘I thought it was important to arrange this sort of event during this time because over the last few months we, as Geneva Academy students, have learned so much about the world not only through our professors but also through each other. This was another great opportunity to capitalize on the experiences of one of our fellow colleagues even when we are apart from each other. It was also a great learning opportunity that will help us to enhance our future work performances’ explains Chanel Chauvet.
In another session, students had the opportunity to exchange with Denise Duran, Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an organization in which she has served for over 25 years, about her career, current responsibilities and general advice for a career in the humanitarian field.
‘We will continue with these exchanges as the sessions with our classmate Lisa Borden and Denise Duran, have received great feedback’ explains Chanel Chauvet.
Other similar exchanges are therefore in the pipeline, notably with Evelyn Murphy from the World Health Organization on the intersection of IHL, human rights, and public health and opportunities available in the field, with Deborah Greenfield, ILO's Deputy Director-General for Policy, as well as with Randy Bagwell, who served as a legal advisor in the US Army for 30 years and now works for the American Red Cross.
Students are also organizing a discussion in May with Professor Marco Sassòli on humanitarian diplomacy and negotiations.
‘Throughout the year, Professor Sassòli has instructed us in what we should all say and refrain from saying in various types of situations, including as a delegate before states or armed groups, or while working to gain humanitarian access. Given his extraordinary career, the class was interested to hear Professor Sassòli discuss humanitarian diplomacy generally, along with information and tips concerning how to conduct such negotiations. In this session, there will be a special focus on negotiating with armed groups and states’ says Chanel Chauvet.
Additionally, the LLM Student Council – Chanel Chauvet, Melina Fidels Tzourou and Fabrizio Locuratolo – will organize an online ‘Career Day’ session in May where a panel of three professionals will discuss their work and career tips.
‘We are all coming up with new ideas constantly, so we will have more events in the upcoming months!’ underlines Chanel Chauvet.
The Geneva Academy is also organizing an online seminar on weapons law for students enrolled in our three programmes – LLM in IHL and Human Rights, MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law and Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict – with Eric Steinmyller, a specialist with a large military background.
‘This seminar will allow students to acquire new knowledge, tools and skills related to the legal framework applicable to weapons and reflect on how IHL and international human rights law regulate the use of weapons. Their exchange with an expert and practitioner on law enforcement issue will also allow them to reflect on their application to concrete cases and scenarios’ explains Professor Marco Sassòli.
During one week, Berta Fernández Rosón, Melina Fidelis Tzourou and Yulia Mogutova – currently enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – represented the Geneva Academy at the 34th edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in Denpasar, Indonesia. They reached the finals of the competition.
In the framework of the IHL course of our LLM in IHL and Human Rights, students pleaded online during the entire day of 25 April for Israel and for Palestine arguing that the side they represent has respected IHL while the adverse side has violated IHL.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe