The Geneva Academy Goes Online

Keyboard Keyboard

8 April 2020

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.

With all our staff working from home, our premises closed and our students at home, we moved our activities online!

Courses, Exams and More

As of 13 March, all the courses and tutorials of our three master’s programmes – LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (LLM), Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) and Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict (Executive Master) – are taking place online.

‘We managed to ensure not only the continuation of all our programmes without any interruption but also the quality of teaching by guaranteeing real interactions between professors, students and teaching assistants during classes and tutorials. We are very grateful to our students and professors for adapting successfully to this new reality and to our IT staff and students’ office to have made it possible’ explains Professor Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy.

‘Several of the MTJ courses continue to be highly interactive, with renowned transitional justice practitioners being connected online to our students around contemporary challenges in the field of transitional justice. Moving to this remote exchanges was challenging, but we managed to continue to connect our wide network of practitioners and academics to our students, which is a success’ underline Frank Haldemann and Thomas Unger, former Co-Directors of the MTJ.

Other activities of our masters, like the public pleadings of the LLM, the seminars of the MTJ academic track, our remote research internship programme, as well as seminars with practitioners, and last but not least, the June exams, will also take place online.

Preparing for the Upcoming Academic Year

Our Student Office is currently very busy reviewing applications and preparing for the upcoming academic year that will start in September for our LLM and MTJ and in October for our Executive Master.

In the very unlikely event that we cannot teach face-to-face at the beginning of the new academic year, students will have the choice either to withdraw from the programme with full reimbursement or to start the programme remotely via our online platform until we can resume in-class teaching.

‘The current situation shows that we are ready to address such a scenario – which is very unlikely to happen – and manage an online start of the academic year, with an online orientation week and online classes’ underlines Professor Marco Sassòli.

Towards Online Events and Conferences

We are moving to the organization of online events, starting today with an IHL Talk on responding to COVID-19 in conflict zones and a new digital initiative, ‘Right On’, which will keep every Wednesday the human rights dialogue going during these COVID-19 times.

The Geneva Human Rights Platform is also organizing online exchanges and conferences, notably around the 2020 review of United Nations treaty bodies.

Videos of a large majority of our past events are also online: we have 50+ videos for you, including our latest events on the killing of Solemaini and international law, the role of international humanitarian law (IHL) in the face of daily operational challenges, disruptive military technologies and much more!

Research Continues

We continue to work on our research projects and launched new ones, like our research on the United Nations Security Council and IHL. Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal is also regularly updated, either with new armed conflicts – like the ones we recently added in Nigeria and Mexico – or with existing conflicts being updated with recent developments.

All our publications are also available online. If you only take what we published in 2019 and early 2020, you already have a lot to read. There is a large choice among guidance on investigating violations of IHL, short research briefs on artificial intelligence, the rights of peasants or armed groups, War Report articles on specific armed conflicts, as well as longer reports on disability and armed conflict, gender and business, or UN treaty bodies’ individual communication procedures.


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