LLM in IHL and Human Rights: What our Students Say

10 January 2023

Edward Madziwa is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (LLM). In this interview, he tells about his background, the programme and what it will bring to his career.

About Me

Edward is my name, and I am from Zimbabwe. I graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree (Honours) from Midlands State University back in 2019. During my undergraduate studies, I participated in various national and regional moot court competitions during which I was exposed to and developed my understanding and passion for international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights. I also hold various certificates in IHL, human rights, and transitional justice.

After my graduation in 2019, I interned at the International Committee of the Red Cross, (ICRC) in Harare. In that capacity, I conducted research on the legal domestic and normative framework on the missing and management of the dead in Zimbabwe pursuant to the ICRC’s Missing and Deceased Migrants Pilot Project for Zimbabwe and South Africa. I also participated in the Customary IHL Study for Zimbabwe and in the planning and organization of the 2019 Zimbabwe National IHL Moot Court Competition.

Prior to moving to Geneva to pursue the LLM at the Geneva Academy, I worked as a Human Rights Complaints Handling and Investigations Officer at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and was responsible for receiving, reviewing, and investigating complaints of human rights violations.

I am passionate about IHL, international criminal law, human rights and refugee law. I am interested in legal and policy research and advocacy. I enjoy amapiano music, running and watching law-related movies and series, as well as historical documentaries.

Why did you choose the LLM at the Geneva Academy?

Ever since my first year of study, I was convinced that an LLM from the Geneva Academy was the best qualification in the field that one can ever get. The admirable depth of the Geneva Academy’s LLM programme, designed by pacesetting and renowned international law professors like Professor Gloria Gaggioli, Professor Marco Sassòli and Professor Vincent Chetail is the main reason why I chose this LLM. It presents an opportunity to comprehensively and holistically interrogate IHL, human rights and international law principles which gives any student from the Geneva Academy an authoritative standing as practitioner in these fields.

With the location of the Geneva Academy in the vicinity of international humanitarian and human rights organizations like the ICRC, UN and other related international organizations, the possibility of gaining practical experience through internship opportunities is incredible.

What are you particularly enjoying about this programme?

The Geneva Academy experience is simply extraordinary. Having the opportunity to take the law out of the books and apply it to the contemporary and pressing challenges in the fields of IHL, human rights, refugee law and international law in general is enriching. The opportunity to study, interact and exchange ideas with other highly qualified, motivated, and brilliant minds from all over the world is invaluable and rewarding.

Would you Recommend it?

For anyone interested in the branches taught in this LLM programme and for anyone looking for a truly rewarding, exciting but extremely intense experience, this programme should be your obvious choice as it will bring plenty of added value to your personal and professional life.

There are also wide-ranging, innovative, intellectually provocative and stimulating optional courses which are tailor-made to suit different individual interests. I wholeheartedly recommend this LLM programme without any reservations.

What are you planning to do next?

With an LLM from the Geneva Academy and my previous work experience, I am fully aware of the plethora of opportunities that will be at my disposal as I will be able to fit in any setting, thus nothing is the limit, not even the sky.

I am currently exploring a range of legal advisory roles with the leading international humanitarian and or human rights organizations as well as international non-governmental organisations. In that capacity, I will be able to contribute to the clarification, reinforcement, and effective implementation of IHL and human rights.

In the long term, I intend to set up a non-governmental organization which will contribute to the development of international law and policy for the betterment of the world we live in through cutting-edge legal research, advocacy and the provision of free legal services and advice to refugees and asylum seekers. However, I remain open to any opportunity that may arise.

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