Annyssa Bellal

Annyssa Bellal

Senior Research Fellow

Areas of expertise

International Humanitarian Law  /  International Human Rights Law  /  Armed Non-State Actors  /  Counter-terrorism  /  Public International Law

Dr Annyssa Bellal is a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy. She is also the Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and a Senior Researcher at the Center on Conflicts, Development and Peacebuilding. Dr Bellal teaches at Sciences Po Paris, the University of Bern and at the Geneva Academy.

Her areas of expertise include public international law, IHL, international human rights law and armed non-state actors. She edited and authored the War Report 2014 (Oxford University Press, 2015) and 2016 (Geneva Academy) and is the author of several articles on various IHL and human rights law issues, including an award-winning article on ‘International Law and Armed Non-State Actors in Afghanistan’ (International Review of the Red Cross, 2011, SNIS Geneva Award 2011).

Dr Bellal formerly worked as a legal adviser for the Swiss NGO Geneva Call, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). She was also an Assistant Professor in public international law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland.

Dr Bellal holds a PhD (summa cum laude) in Public International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and an LLM in Philosophy of Law from the University of Grenoble. She also holds a Master of Advanced Studies in International Relations and an MA in Law from the University of Geneva.

Dr Bellal was awarded several fellowships for her research, notably from McGill University (O’Brien Fellow in Residence), New York University (Hauser Global Law School Research Fellow) and the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development (Albert Gallatin Research Fellow).

Taught Courses and Research Projects

Central African Republic, Ouham province, village of Ouogo. International Humanitarian Law dissemination session to members of the Peoples' Army for the Restoration of Democracy. Project

From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms

This project aims at compiling and analysing the practice and interpretation of selected international humanitarian law and human rights norms by armed non-state actors (ANSAs). It has a pragmatic double objective: first, to offer a comparative analysis of IHL and human rights norms from the perspective of ANSAs, and second, to inform strategies of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs, in particular the content of a possible ‘Model Code of Conduct’.

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North Kivu. Civilians are not spared and are all too often victims of attacks. But one hears little about the ways in which fighters are affected too and how they can also sometimes become victims. LLM - Course

Armed Non-State Actors and International Law

This course focuses on the study of non-state armed groups in contemporary armed conflicts and how international law regulates their actions.

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Thousands of citizens gathered in Juba, South Sudan to celebrate the signature of the peace agreement Master in transitional justice - Course

International Humanitarian Law in Transitional Phases

This course will address key questions related to the nature of contemporary armed conflicts and the increased presence of armed non-State actors of different types and ideologies in modern situations of armed violence. 

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Past projects


Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Completed in 1 March 2021

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Cover page of the book

What are Armed Non-State Actors? A Legal and Semantic Approach


Annyssa Bellal

E. Heffes, M. Kotlik, M. Ventura (eds), T.M.C. Asser/Springer

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Cover page of the War Report 2018

The War Report 2018

April 2019

Annyssa Bellal

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Norwegian centre for Human Rights

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Cover page of the Human Rights and International Law Discourse Vol (12.1)

Yes, I Do: Binding Armed Non-State Actors to IHL and Human Rights Norms Through Their Consent


Annyssa Bellal, Ezequiel Heffes

Human Rights and International Law Discourse Vol (12.1)

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Cover page of the Research Handbook on Global Health Law

Health and the Law of Armed Conflict


Annyssa Bellal

Research Handbook on Global Health Law, Edward Elgar Publishing

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