During the Spring Semester, three different tracks – Thematic Focus, Clinical Work or Academic Research – allow students to pursue their particular interests. Allocation of places in the different tracks is based on a competitive selection process.
Students who want to deepen, broaden and diversify their knowledge in particular thematic areas can follow two optional courses. Organized around small and intimate learning communities, they allow selected students to address topical issues like the rule of law in practice, peacebuilding in post-conflict and fragile situations or the case law and practice of international criminal law with leading experts and practitioners.
Clinical Work, in the form of research internships or participation in a moot court, provides a solid exposure to practical work and situations.
Research internships with leading actors like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) or the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) allow selected students to acquire first-hand professional experience and put in practice what they learn in class. Students are accompanied during the entire duration of their research internships via a rolling seminar that provides peer-to-peer support and exchange of ideas.
Via their participation in a moot court, selected students get exposure to concrete cases, plead on topical transitional justice issues and have the opportunity to meet other students from all around the world, as well as experts and practitioners. For the last and current academic years, selected students participated in the Nuremberg Moot Court, one of the leading moot court in international criminal justice. Teams from around the world present their legal briefs before a panel of judges, comprised of world-renowned experts. Each team presents either as the prosecution or the defence and is evaluated for the content of its briefs as well as its presentation skills, teamwork and team spirit. For its first participation in 2017, the Geneva Academy team won the Prize for the Best Defence Memorandum.
The academic track is designed to provide students with an interactive platform for academic research and critical debate. This track is addressed to students having an interest in pursuing academic research, and particularly a PhD project. The aim is to introduce students to the tools of academic research and to stimulate peer-discussions about complex theoretical issues within the field of transitional justice.
The track combines introductory sessions on the aims and methodology of academic research with seminars where students present and discuss their master’s paper project. Moreover, the track includes an academic debate session allowing students to critically engage with controversial issues and questions and to take on the role of advocates or critics of particular strands of argument or positions.
The Geneva Academy does not offer PhD programmes. Yet, a number of graduates have been accepted in PhD programmes at the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and other universities.
The programme managed to strike a great balance between theoretical studies and practical training. It is a must for every practitioner in the area of transitional justice, human rights and rule of law!
The Geneva Academy Student Council promotes the interests and welfare of Geneva Academy students. This ensures they all enjoy the richest student experience possible during their stay in Geneva.
Student life also extends beyond classrooms and libraries to the many social and cultural events and sports activities that take place throughout the year.
While studying at the Geneva Academy, you can take a wide variety of French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese or Arabic language courses.