Christian Durisch Acosta
4 August 2021
Christian Durisch Acosta works in Burkina Faso with the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). As a Humanitarian Affairs Officer deployed from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, he supports and advises the humanitarian country team on the interlinkages between humanitarian, development and peace actors – the so-called triple nexus – and advocacy strategies.
Prior to that, Christian worked as scientific collaborator in a lawyer’s office in Bern, specializing in refugee law; as a Human Rights Adviser with UNAIDS in Mozambique; Project Associate with OHCHR in Honduras; and Coordinator/Advisor of the International Commission against the Death Penalty.
Christian is enrolled in our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict. He completed the programme’s courses back in June 2020 and defended his Executive Master’s paper on siege warfare from a human rights perspective in August 2021.
I was looking for a part-time postgraduate programme in international law to complement my professional profile, stimulate my academic interest, and maybe even open up a path to research-oriented jobs or a PhD. The Executive Master seemed to respond to all these goals.
I deeply enjoyed listening to the lectures, reading the all the materials and pursuing my personal research interests. Writing my thesis on siege warfare from a human rights perspective was a wonderfully stimulating experience. So yes, the richness of the curriculum and excellence of the professors and teaching assistants, who were genuinely interested to interact, did meet the expectations that the reputation of the Geneva Academy creates.
I am originally a historian, which is probably also why the courses on public international law turned out to be a highlight for me. I am still fascinated how the course, which was masterfully taught by Distefano and Gazzini, made me reflect on the intricacies of International Law and History as scientific disciplines.
I would say this depends very much on how you approach the endeavour of a postgraduate course while working aside. I wanted to benefit as much as possible, and hence reduced my working hours and committed the bulk of my spare time to this programme.
The acquired thematic and methodological expertise has made my profile more competitive. The good reputation of the Geneva Academy helps in this regard, too. I also hope to continue pursuing my research interests in one way or another.
Yes, I highly recommend this Executive Masters programme to anyone wishing to develop a comprehensive understanding on how international law applies in fragile contexts and armed conflict.
Following the lifting of most sanitary measures, all the courses of our LLM in IHL and Human Rights and of our MAS in Transitional Justice will be taught in person, with recordings provided to students who are sick and cannot attend classes.
Mona Koehler-Schindler works at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and follows the programme online.
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.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.