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

Portrait of Antonio Coco Portrait of Antonio Coco

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.

What are the Strengths of the Programme?

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.

How was Teaching?

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.

Your Best Memories of the Programme?

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.

What Did it Bring to your Career?

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.

Do you use what you learned in class in your work?

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.

Would you Recommend It?

Wholeheartedly. It was a defining moment not only for my career but for my growth as a person.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Francesca Gortan, Sarah Surget and Sophie Timmermans during a simulation at Pictet 2022 News

Our Team at Pictet: Much More than Reaching the Final

11 April 2022

During one week, Francesca Gortan, Sarah Surget and Sophie Timmermans represented the Geneva Academy at the 38th Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in Durrës, Albania, from 19 to 26 March.

Read more

Stephen Hare with his teammates with Moneyneath Men and Rattanak Borin from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Pnomh Penh. News

LLM Student Stephen Hare Wins Best Speaker Award at the 36th Jean-Pictet Competition

21 December 2021

Stephen Hare won the Gilbert-Apollis Prize at the 36th Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in early December in Albania.

Read more

Smoke from a burning oil field rises into the air, Iraq, 2006 Event

Armed Conflicts, Environment and Human Rights

8 June 2022, 10:00-12:00

This conference, organized with the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, will address the adverse implications for the enjoyment of human rights caused by environmental degradation in armed conflicts.

Read more

Cover page of the book Event

Book Launch: ‘Unravelling Unlawful Confinement in Contemporary Armed Conflicts’

25 May 2022, 18:00-20:00

This event marks the launch of our LLM alumna Jelena Plamenac’s award-winning book ‘Unravelling Unlawful Confinement in Contemporary Armed Conflicts’ published by Brill.

Read more

Plastic pollution Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

12-16 September 2022

This training course will explore the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights, as well as with their implementation and enforcement mechanisms; and provide practical insights into the different UN human rights mechanisms pertinent to advancing environmental issues and protecting environmental human rights defenders.

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

7-11 November 2022

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

Screen Shot of Obsolete, a game made for the 7DFPS project in 7 days. Download for PC and Mac Project

Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

This project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

Read more

Un plate with Rapporteur Spécial written on it Project

Support to UN Special Procedures

Started in June 2020

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Regulating business conduct in the technology sector gaps and ways forward in applying the UNGPs

published on April 2022

Ana Beduschi, Isabel Ebert

Read more

Cover of the Publication Publication

The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer

published on April 2022

Henning Lahmann

Read more