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

Portrait of Katja Schöberl Portrait of Katja Schöberl

8 December 2020

Katja Schöberl graduated from our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in 2008.

After a one-year traineeship within the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s Legal Division, she returned to the Geneva Academy in 2009 to work as a teaching assistant. In 2012, she took on a position as IHL Legal Adviser for the German Red Cross in Berlin, where she has been living and working since.

Why Did you Choose to Follow the LLM at the Geneva Academy?

The LLM offered the most rigorous education in international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights in armed conflict, backed by the Geneva Academy’s founding institutions’ renewed commitment to a specialized programme in these areas of law. The depth and range of IHL training were deciding factors for my choice and had often been identified as outstanding qualities of this programme by IHL professionals I approached to seek advice.

What are the Strengths of the Programme?

The programme offers students the opportunity to strive for academic excellence, to be taught by leading experts, to gain valuable practical experience and to learn among a highly diverse group of students. I have followed with great interest and admiration how the LLM programme has flourished since we were enrolled as the Geneva Academy’s first cohort in 2007. The programme is today firmly anchored in what the Geneva Academy’s staff has been able to impressively build over the years: a place of outstanding teaching and research. The continuous development of the catalogue of optional courses is merely one indication of the Geneva Academy’s dedication to include the most relevant and topical issues in its teaching. The inclusion of internship opportunities, clinical legal work and pleadings into the LLM programme has enabled students to develop their practical skills even more strongly.

How was Teaching?

I was, and continue to be, deeply impressed with the teaching staff’s profound dedication to training young international lawyers. Professors, lecturers and teaching assistants generously shared their expertise in and experience with international law, including their remarkable achievements, professional setbacks, open questions as well as hopes and aspirations for international law. The didactical approach adopted within the LLM programme (inductive analyses, case-based methods, group work) fostered a dialogue in which diverse opinions, critical views and new proposals were always welcome.

Your Best Memories of the Programme?

The numerous discussions inside and outside the classroom, including at various apéros.

What Did it Bring to your Career?

The programme has allowed me to start a career in IHL. It has provided me with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a professional context dealing with IHL, such as the ICRC and the German Red Cross. It has also contributed significantly to my academic development and has allowed me to pursue a doctorate in IHL. Since graduation, the programme has continued to enrich my professional life. It has generated a community of IHL professionals whose work in and reflections about international law have a significant impact on my work. The Geneva Academy and its staff have created an extraordinary space for alumni and students of the programme to meet and I am always grateful for the possibility to reconnect with them at one of the Geneva Academy’s conferences and events.

Would you Recommend It?

I would, and regularly do, highly recommend the programme to any student looking for an intellectually challenging and truly rewarding post-graduate education in IHL.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

An LLM class News

Apply to our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights!

27 November 2023

Applications for the 2024–2025 academic year of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights are open. They will run until 26 January 2024 for applications with a scholarship and until 24 February 2024 for applications without a scholarship.

Read more

LLM students: group photo at Yerevan's market News

Exploring IHL and Human Rights: Our LLM Students' Journey to Armenia

13 October 2023

In July, students enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights embarked on a week-long study trip to Armenia.

Read more

Garment workersto receive food from their factory during lunch time. This food is freely provided by their factory in order to ensure that workers eat healthy and hygienic food. Training

Business and Human Rights

2-6 September 2024

This training course will examine how the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have been utilized to advance the concept of business respect for human rights throughout the UN system, the impact of the Guiding Principles on other international organizations, as well as the impact of standards and guidance developed by these different bodies.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Sign: National Human Rights Commission of Nepal Project

Local Implementation of Global Human Rights

Started in May 2020

The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.

Read more

Panel Discussion: Project

Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

Read more

Cover page of the Research Brief Publication

The Evolving Neurotechnology Landscape: Examining the Role and Importance of Human Rights in Regulation

published on December 2023

Erica Harper

Read more

Business and Human Rights Research Brief Publication

PARAMETERS FOR A GLOBAL HELPDESK ON BUSINESS & HUMAN RIGHTS

published on November 2023

Stefania Di Stefano

Read more