MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law: What our Students Say

Portrait of Luisa Fernanda Gómez Betancur in front of Geneva Lake. Portrait of Luisa Fernanda Gómez Betancur in front of Geneva Lake.

29 January 2019

In this interview, Luisa Fernanda Gómez Betancur, currently enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ), tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.

About Me

I’m Luisa Fernanda and am from Manizales, Colombia, a city in the well-known coffee region in the Andean mountain chain. I started my career in law at the Universidad de Caldas and later on, I pursued specialized studies in constitutional law at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Before coming to Geneva, I worked for six years at the Constitutional Court of Colombia. During my time as a public servant, I notably dealt with cases related to environmental justice, the human rights of indigenous communities as well as the victims of the internal armed conflict.

All my life I’ve been fascinated with movement, and that might be the reason why I have danced since I was seven years old. It has been my happy place since then: it is my way to meditate in motion. In addition, I’m also a big fan of travelling.

Why did you choose the MTJ at the Geneva Academy?

Colombia is pursuing a transition to a post-conflict setting after large-scale political violence. The complexities of this kind of processes deal not only with legal dimensions but also social, political and cultural variables. The MTJ at Geneva Academy offers me an interdisciplinary platform to reflect in-depth upon tough questions about justice, peace or truth that form part of the transitional justice framework and whose understanding has critical implications for people’s lives in my country and in others regions as well.

What are you Enjoying in your Studies?

I find fascinating to be part of a classroom with 27 fellow students from 25 different countries and being able to share different understandings and values of the world. In a way, every day the Geneva Academy, is a celebration of diversity.

How is the Teaching?

One of the elements that create a holistic focus of the programme is the teaching. Professors at the Geneva Academy are not just rigorous from an academic perspective, but their experience and ‘on the ground’ exposure create an environment in which conversations, inquiries and discussions are granted an immense value; and as if that wasn’t enough, Geneva is by itself a huge classroom. Cultural and academic events offered in the city are limitless, and these offer an opportunity to further the learning experience.

What are you Planning to do Next?

Colombia is going through a historical transition full of hope, but also very fragile. Undoubtedly, I would like to be part of this process and contribute by using the academic and practical tools learned here which will allow me to face the complexity of this transitional process.

Why did you Choose to be Photographed in front of Geneva Lake?

Public spaces in cities are shrinking and becoming more scarce. The Geneva Lake is a living example of public land that is valued collectively. The lake represents to me that powerful idea of communal goods.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Geneva Human Rights Platform staff during the online conference News

Towards Inclusive Cities: Experts Discuss Online the Situation of Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons

25 May 2020

During two days around 60 experts analysed existing challenges and barriers for persons with disabilities and older persons in an urban context and made specific recommendations thereof.

Read more

Group photo of MTJ students during the study trip News

A Trip to Kosovo to Get Practical Insights into a Transitional Justice Process

6 March 2020

Students of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law (MTJ) spent, as part of the programme’s annual study trip, four days in Kosovo where they met with a wide range of experts and institutions involved in post-conflict reconstruction and the rule of law.

Read more

Nepal,  Bardia district, Gulariya. Families of missing persons mark the 29th International Day of the Disappeared. Short Course

Human Rights and Transitional Justice

15 September - 14 October 2020

This online course aims at unpacking the nature and scope of international human rights law in transitional contexts.

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

2-6 November 2020

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

Flyer presenting the Geneva Human Rights Platform with other publications of the Geneva Academy on display Project

Geneva Academy Fridays

Started in January 2019

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

Cover page of the manual Publication

#ESCR AND #SDGs: Practical Manual on the Role of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Monitoring the SDGs that Seek to Realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

published on July 2020

Christophe Golay

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Beyond the 2020 Treaty Body Review: The Role of National Human Rights Systems

published on June 2020

Domenico Zipoli

Read more