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

7 December 2021

Annabel Bassil graduated from our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in 2019. She currently works as a Junior Legal Advisor at Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre.

In this role, she supports the delivery of training courses and conducts legal research on international humanitarian law (IHL). Passionate about research, she recently published an article on armed escorts to humanitarian convoys in the International Review of the Red Cross. She previously worked at the European Court of Human Rights as a Legal Trainee.

In this interview, she tells about the programme and what it brought to her career.

What are the Strengths of the Programme?

The programme offers a comprehensive view of the laws applying in or related to armed conflicts. They range from public international law to IHL, international human rights law and international refugee law. I particularly appreciated the fact that the programme allows for critical thinking on those topics. The quality of the courses – which were delivered by the best experts in their respective fields – largely contributed to this positive experience.

The programme also prepares students to face practical global challenges. It often relied on case studies as a learning methodology and offered moot court competitions and internships.

In sum, it is a good combination of theory and practice.

How was Teaching?

The teaching was excellent. As a person who is passionate about learning, my thirst for high-quality legal knowledge was more than satisfied. The pace was intense but thanks to the teamwork that we managed to organize with a group of students, the learning journey was enjoyable.

Your Best Memories of the Programme?

The ties that I formed with my classmates are my best memories of the programme. We were spending most of our time together and I formed memorable relationships. Some of the friends that I met back then are now among my closest friends.

What Did it Bring to your Career?

The LLM was an asset to advance my career because I used my knowledge in the positions that I subsequently worked in.

The alumni community of the programme is also invaluable.

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

After the LLM, I worked as a Legal Trainee at the European Court of Human Rights. A great portion of my work was directly related to the topics that we discussed at the Geneva Academy. In my role as Junior Legal Advisor at Diakonia IHL Centre, I also use my knowledge of IHL extensively.

Most of all, I learned critical thinking and rigorous analytical skills. I find those skills essential in any career and in life more generally.

Would you Recommend It?

Yes, I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fast-paced, high-quality academic journey in International Law related to armed conflicts.

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