24 January 2022
Francesca Gortan, Sarah Surget and Sophie Timmermans will represent the Geneva Academy at the 38th Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that will take place from 19 to 26 March in Durrës, Albania.
‘Participation in the Jean-Pictet Competition is a very unique experience for every law student. For the Geneva Academy students, this is, however, more than another moot court. The Jean-Pictet Competition provides them with an exceptional opportunity to apply in practice everything they learn during the year, to see how law lives and works in armed conflicts and, more importantly, to meet like-minded people from all over the world. It is a first trial for their future humanitarian careers’ says Yulia Mogutova, former Teaching Assistant at the Geneva Academy and the Team’s Coach.
‘I was very lucky to participate in the 34th Pictet edition as member of the Geneva Academy team. This experience has not only equipped me with an indispensable set of professional skills but also reinforced my dedication to international humanitarian law and human rights. Now, I feel very privileged to share my knowledge with the new generation of future Picteists from the Geneva Academy and to prepare the team for probably the most exciting adventure of the year. At the meetings with the team, I feel like living it through again, and I love it!’
For the first time, the Geneva Academy team will involve, besides two students from our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (LLM) – Francesca Gortan and Sophie Timmermans – a student from our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) – Sarah Surget.
‘We are very pleased to have a team composed of students from our LLM and MTJ: this will tremendously enrich our students’ experience both during the preparation and at the competition itself: they will be exposed to new perspectives and issues that they are not necessarily addressing in their respective programmes’ explains Professor Gloria Gaggioli, Director of the Geneva Academy.
Francesca Gortan is enrolled in our LLM. Coming from Italy, she has worked as a volunteer for organizations like Amnesty International and an association giving social and legal assistants to migrants in Italy. Francesca also participated in a UN Volunteers online project on the implementation of human rights and women's rights in Papua New Guinea.
Francesca graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Trento back in 2021 (Master Degree in Law). During her five years of studies, she obtained the tender for Erasmus+ at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest, and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
‘The preparation is enriching from a personal and professional point of view: I’m learning so much and I see the team getting stronger every week. I am looking forward to putting all into practice during the competition and meeting other teams with the same passion.’
Sophie Timmermans is enrolled in our LLM. Coming from Belgium, she is passionate about disarmament, arms trade control and arms use under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. She has been involved, over the past years, in research on the Arms Trade Treaty’s transfer prohibitions and export assessment procedure.
Sophie obtained her Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and her Master of Laws (LLM) at the University of Antwerp with a specialization in sustainable development and global justice. During her studies, Sophie was also a student representative and a board member of the local department of an international youth-run NGO.
‘Training for the competition has been very challenging, but equally fulfilling when we see our weekly progress. I look forward to improving my negotiation skills and IHL knowledge, and sharing this experience with humanitarians from all over the world!’.
Sarah Surget is the first MTJ candidate to represent the Geneva Academy at the Jean-Pictet competition.
After growing up as an expatriate moving countries and continents every few years, Sarah obtained a Bachelor of Science in Criminology in the United Kingdom and specialized in psychosocial support, a field she worked in for nearly two years prior to starting her master at the Geneva Academy.
She notably completed a year-long field experience in Lebanon, which included both working with the Lebanese Red Cross in the Disaster Management Unit and on a transitional justice mechanism through the right to education with Syrian children while living on the Syrian Border.
‘This opportunity to take part in the competition has given me such an insight into the world of IHL. I can see myself growing and learning on a weekly basis, and for which I am very grateful. I am very excited for the competition as I am eager to meet like-minded individuals and to fully immerse myself in the simulations.’
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