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.
This new book, edited by the two Co-Directors of our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Frank Haldemann and Thomas Unger, provides an unmatched analysis of the United Nations Principles to Combat Impunity.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
Our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law is a unique and innovative programme that combines high-level academic education and real-world practice in the field of transitional justice. One of the very few courses on this subject in Europe, it focuses on an expanding field where there is a strong need for well-trained professionals.
U.S. Mission Photo/Eric Bridiers
From 2012 to 2015 the Geneva Academy hosted the Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff.
This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.