Our New Visiting Fellow: Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin is a leading expert in the fields of emergency powers, counter-terrorism and human rights, conflict regulation, transitional justice and sex-based violence in times of war. She is Regents Professor and Robina Professor of Law, Public Policy and Society at the University of Minnesota Law School and Professor of Law at the Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Professor Ní Aoláin is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism.

She just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy and will stay with us until June 2022.

What Motivated you to Carry out a Fellowship at the Geneva Academy?

I have a long association with the Geneva Academy, having worked closely with its MAS in Transitional Justice, taught a summer school programme, and participated in many conferences and events for many years. Having a sabbatical from my University in Spring 2022, created the perfect opportunity to spend more time in Geneva, combining my role as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights with the pursuit of some academic projects. Being a Fellow at the Geneva Academy also gives me the opportunity to connect with colleagues having similar academic interests as well as a number of my Special Rapporteur colleagues who also hold Visiting Fellowships.

What Will be the Focus of your Research during this Fellowship?

I am completing a monograph on the law of occupation focused on the gender dimensions of occupation. I hope to complete this book over the Spring and I can think of no better place to do it than at the Geneva Academy.

Why are these Issues Important?

Occupation remains a thorny and challenging legal and political practice. My book particularly addresses transformative occupations and the ways in which an exceptional practice (occupation) becomes normalized over time. As a feminist international law scholar, I am particularly aware of the lack of attention paid to women’s experience of occupation in international law scholarship. This book plans to remedy that deficit.

What Will be the Impact of this Research?

I hope the impact will be to reshape our understanding of the law of occupation from a gender perspective.

What Do you Expect from your Time at the Geneva Academy?

I expect to write a great deal, to engage with colleagues, and to have the time to think in a considered way on the complex legal issues my book engages. As Special Rapporteur, I also hope to have the time to engage with colleagues on some of the pressing challenges facing my mandate.


Glasses before a computerm screen News

Mapping the Societal Risks and Potential Humanitarian Impact of Cyber Operations

27 June 2022

Our new Working Paper Societal Risks and Potential Humanitarian Impact of Cyber Operations provides an up-to-date assessment of existing risks and protection needs in light of contemporary and future military cyber capabilities.

Read more

Home page of the forum News

Our Director Professor Gaggioli Participated in the European Humanitarian Forum

24 March 2022

Our Director Professor Gloria Gaggioli participated in the European Humanitarian Forum that took place in Brussels from 21 to 23 March 2022.

Read more

Logo of the Atlas Network Event

Women's Perspectives on a Career in International Law

6 July 2022, 13:00-14:30

In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.

Read more

Syria, destroyed building and ambulance Short Course

Basic Principles of International Humanitarian Law

Fall 2022

This short course examines the sources of international humanitarian law and provides an introduction to its key principles and terminology.

Read more

Ukraine, damaged bicycle and car in front of a destroyed building Short Course

Protection of Persons and Property in International Armed Conflict

Fall 2022

This short course examines the conduct of hostilities in situations of international armed conflict, also known as the Law of The Hague.

Read more

On the screen, on the screen is Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), briefing the Security Council on the 70th Anniversary of Geneva Conventions. Project

International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations Security Council

Completed in January 2020

Read more

Computer screen with warning: civilian infrastucture: do not attack Project

Digitalization of Conflict Joint Initiative: Humanitarian Impact and Legal Protection

Started in September 2020

This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.

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