16 February 2021
Since January 2020, Antonio Coco is a Lecturer at the University of Essex’s School of Law, where he teaches a variety of courses on international law.
After his LLM at the Geneva Academy, he started his PhD in International Law at the University of Geneva, which he completed in 2019. In the meanwhile, he had taken up a position as Lecturer in International Law at the University of Oxford, where he taught for two and a half years and maintains a fellowship at the Oxford Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. His current research mostly follows two strands: international law applicable to information and communication technologies, and international criminal law.
The LLM programme at the Geneva Academy has many strengths. Three stood out for me: the programme’s architecture which builds in students an extremely solid foundational knowledge of public international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law; the personal quality of the teachers, who are able to inspire in addition to transmitting knowledge; and the class spirit, animated by the motivation and passion of all the students.
Teaching at the Geneva Academy LLM was among the most effective I have ever experienced. I appreciated, in particular, that most teachers attempted to spark an independent way of thinking in the students, rather than giving them pre-made answers.
The connections between the relevant rules of international law, and the rationale behind them, was constantly highlighted. We were exposed to a way of thinking about international law as a tool for positive social change. In addition, tutorials — led by incredibly skilled and well-prepared teaching assistants — were crucial to contextualize the lectures and exploring the practical application of what we had learned in class.
I have countless special memories of the programme but, if I had to choose one, I would have to choose the class trip to Bosnia. It was an unforgettable bonding experience for us as a class and gave us a chance to speak with people who had directly experienced the war which came up so often in our classes. In incredibly emotional moments, among others, we visited the site of the Srebrenica massacre and portions of the tunnel which allowed people and goods to get in and out of sieged Sarajevo.
The LLM at the Geneva Academy gave me the tools to embark into my PhD, which concerned the defence of mistake of law in international criminal law, and laid the bases for the knowledge which, years later, I shared with my students at Oxford and I am still sharing with my students at Essex.
In addition, the Geneva Academy was my very first academic network and allowed me to get to know scholars and practitioners with whom I have then collaborated after my LLM. In particular, the LLM internship programme allowed me to work for a while at the United Nations International Law Commission and at TRIAL International, giving me an early chance to see international law in action.
I use what I have learned at the Geneva Academy every single day of my professional life. After all, I seamlessly kept researching on and teaching in the same areas which were part of the LLM curriculum. In addition, the teaching style and professionalism of my LLM professors still informs my teaching practice to date.
Wholeheartedly. It was a defining moment not only for my career but for my growth as a person.
Since this academic year, recipients of the Henry Dunant Prize will have the opportunity to publish their paper in the International Review of the Red Cross, a leading publication on IHL, humanitarian policy and humanitarian action.
In our new Working Paper The United Nations Treaty Bodies in a Transition Period – Progress Review, Professor Olivier de Frouville shares his own views on the work of UN treaty bodies during the period running from March to December 2020.
Join us for our open house to learn more about this part-time programme designed professionals, meet staff, students and alumni, and discuss career opportunities.
This online event is co-organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and the Ordre des Avocats Genève.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides an in-depth study of an emblematic example of the complexity of international humanitarian law and the challenges it raises: the classification of armed conflicts.
This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre