2 February 2017
In this interview, Tafadzwa Christmas, a Zimbabwean student enrolled in the Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
Tafadzwa Christmas is a lawyer, who has worked in Zimbabwe and regionally as a human rights advocate and transitional justice practitioner.
The programme manages to strike a great balance between theoretical studies and practical training. It is a must for every practitioner in the area of transitional justice, human rights and rule of law!
The programme has met my expectations as it seeks to mould an all-round professional who is not only able to function as a practitioner but also to comprehend and articulate the conceptual intricacies of the complex nexus interlinking transitional justice as a field, human rights and the rule of law. The lectures conducted by world renowned academics and leading practitioners are stimulating, enriching and enjoyable!
Geneva is a cosmopolitan city. It exudes with diversity and acts as a meeting place for people from diverse cultures and societies. It is also a city filled with historical relics. This atmosphere of diversity, richness in historical heritage together with the back-drop of impressive towering buildings, housing not only UN offices but also various other multinational and global organizations, creates an inspirational environment.
The classes are also made up of diverse students from all over the world. This creates a great interactive platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences, making new professional contacts and learning about other cultures.
The efficient transport system makes is possible to move about the city conveniently and easily, which is perfect both for commuting to and from classes and also for exploring! There is a lot see and a lot of places to visit and for the adventurer, Geneva can easily be a gateway to other nearby European cities and towns.
The summer is quite warm and the winter though chilly at times, is nothing a good jacket, woollen hat and scarf cannot beat.
The Villa Moynier which now houses the Geneva Academy is a historic building which resonates with the spirit of humanitarianism passed on through generations from Gustave Moynier, the first President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to all of us today. It is inspiring having lectures in the villa which once housed countless iconic figures. The Villa to me stands as a perpetual call to join the luminaries of the past who worked in it, to also work to make our world a better place.
In a very short time, our institution, like many others, had to adapt to the current situation and rethink the way we operate, work, conduct research and transfer knowledge to our students, as well as via our events and conferences.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Knowledge transfer is at the heart of our activities. During 2019, our professors, researchers and staff have ensured such transfer in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice via research, our three masters, training courses, events and the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
This online short course will examine the protection afforded by international human rights law in these contexts, with a specific focus on the right to peaceful assembly – which is at the heart of such movements –, and the right to life – which is often violated during such transitional moments.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, reviews the origins of international criminal law, its relationship with the international legal order including the UN Security Council and its coexistence with national justice institutions. The scope of international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression – is considered alongside initiatives to expand or add to these categories.
UN Photo/Stuart Price
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.
This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.