13 December 2017
In this interview, Juan Daniel Salazar, currently enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, tells us about the programme, teaching, life in Geneva and what he plans to do next.
My name is Juan Daniel Salazar and I am from Medellín, Colombia. I studied law at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana and did a specialization in human rights and international humanitarian law at the University of Antioquia, both in my home city. Transitional justice and human rights became a determining factor in my academic development considering the conflict that my country has endured for almost half a century, more so coming from a city well-known due to the violence consequence of drug trafficking that struck it in the nineties. Nowadays the horizon faces new perspectives that taste like hope and I want to be part of that shift.
Before coming to Geneva, I worked at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC and as a teacher for almost ten years, besides presenting a regional TV show for six years. I am a big fan of life and everything that comes with it, with a particular interest in smiles, words, music and photography. I speak Spanish and English.
I chose this Master because the Geneva Academy is one of the few universities in the world that offers an academic programme in the field of transitional justice, considering also the fact that being in Geneva, one of the most relevant cities in the world for human rights related topics, could give me access to academic and practical approaches from an international perspective.
Studying with so many people from different parts of the world and professional backgrounds has been one of the main highlights, sharing with them their experiences has made me a better lawyer and human being.
One of the things I enjoy the most about the programme is having a holistic approach to the field of transitional justice, ranging from a theoretical perspective to pragmatic approaches that enrich the analysis greatly. I also think the quality and experience of the professors gives an incommensurable added value.
I am not sure what the future holds in store for me, though working with the implementation of the peace agreements in my country could be a perfect way to apply all the knowledge I am acquiring here.
Geneva is a multicultural and inspiring city with students from all over the globe and beautiful images in every corner. Every week, the city is buzzing with cultural and academic events which enhance the study experience.
I chose to be photographed next to the lake of Geneva because it is the place that brings the city together, a vibrant location full of birds and people enjoying the freshwater breeze.
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights (LLM) and MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) spent a week in the Balkans – Belgrade, Sarajevo and Srebrenica – where they met experts and institutions who work in the fields of IHL, human rights and transitional justice.
The Geneva Academy team at the 2022 Mandea Moot Court – Helmer Jonelid and Edward Millett – qualified for the final rounds of the competition that will take place in Geneva from 18 to 21 July 2022.