15 January 2019
In this interview, Anthoula Bourolias, currently enrolled in our Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ), tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
My name is Anthoula Bourolias, and I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Prior to joining the Geneva Academy, I completed an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Toronto where I majored in African Studies and minored in Political Science and History. Here, I had the opportunity to conduct field research on human rights violations in East Africa, mainly in Rwanda and Kenya. Subsequently, I worked at an indigenous rights law firm in Toronto as a legal assistant and researcher for the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
In addition to my academic and career-oriented passions, I love to travel, weightlift, cook and spend quality time with my family. I am also a native Greek and English speaker and have basic Swahili proficiency.
Applying to the Geneva Academy was an easy decision for me. Having worked on transitional justice and human rights issues in Canada and East Africa, I was quickly drawn to the Geneva Academy’s unique reputation. As an academic institution, it is upon few, world-wide, that embodies a multi-interdisciplinary approach to learning about the complexities, challenges, and approaches to dealing with mass human rights violations in post-conflict societies.
There is never a dull moment at the Geneva Academy because it is not a conventional master’s programme. Rather, it hosts a wide variety of unique features such as the TJ cafes, conferences and events, an individualized track system, the Spring School, and a study trip. All of these features encourage a professionalizing and diversified approach to learning.
What I admire most about the MTJ programme is the diverse faculty: professors are among the best scholars and practitioners in the field of transitional justice and international human rights law. They inspire students to engage, innovate, and collaborate in and out of the classroom, which creates a stimulating and dynamic learning experience.
I plan to continue academic research by pursuing a PhD. The Geneva Academy supports this endeavour specifically through the Academic Research Track which prepares students for doctoral-level research. I am particularly interested in conducting further research on the concept of reconciliation, and memory/forgiveness in post-conflict settings.
This particular spot reminds me of my first week of class where I ventured into this beautiful library, wandering through the stacks, amazed by the collection. I thought to myself… I am here and this is really happening.
Melina Fidelis Tzourou is enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. From 7 to 14 March, she will travel to Bali, Indonesia to represent the Geneva Academy at the Anglophone Edition of the 2020 Jean-Pictet Competition – along with Chiemelie Michael Agu and Yulia Mogutova.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Knowledge transfer is at the heart of our activities. During 2019, our professors, researchers and staff have ensured such transfer in international humanitarian law, human rights and transitional justice via research, our three masters, training courses, events and the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
UN Photo/Stuart Price
This project aims at mapping various existing accountability mechanisms, in the context of military interventions, through the lens of the requirements of a transitional justice process in order to identify possibilities and gaps.
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.