16 January 2020
In this interview, Ramzi Kaiss, currently enrolled in our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
My Name is Ramzi Kaiss and I come from Beirut, Lebanon. Before studying at the Geneva Academy, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and International Relations at Connecticut College in the United States (US). After graduating, I worked in the US at an educational non-profit organization that develops training workshops and produces educational curricula related to periods of genocide and mass atrocity. I then returned to Beirut where I worked at the Beit Touyour Ayloul Foundation as part of the team that was archiving the early works and articles of the late Lebanese author and women’s rights activist, Emily Nasrallah.
Lebanon has an interesting history of transition from war to peace in the absence of transitional justice mechanisms. As someone interested in the history and current political landscape of the country and the region, I knew I wanted to deepen my knowledge of transitional justice issues. I found that the Geneva Academy’s MTJ programme was an ideal option for someone interested in studying transitional justice and human rights from a theoretical, political, legal and practical approach.
The best thing about the programme has been the classes and the people, from the professors to my colleagues. There are so many different ways in which one can approach transitional justice, and it is quite rewarding when you are around people who have a great experience doing transitional justice and human rights work in different contexts and in different capacities, from the governmental to non-governmental, academic and legal.
For now, I am not certain, but I hope that the research internship during the second semester and the planning process for the MTJ paper will provide me with some space to reflect on whether I want to pursue my academic research or explore work opportunities related to transitional justice issues in Lebanon and the wider Arab region.
The photo was taken during a site visit to the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). My friend and classmate Kinda insisted that I take a photo to send back home. So here it is.
Following the lifting of most sanitary measures, all the courses of our LLM in IHL and Human Rights and of our MAS in Transitional Justice will be taught in person, with recordings provided to students who are sick and cannot attend classes.
During one week, Francesca Gortan, Sarah Surget and Sophie Timmermans represented the Geneva Academy at the 38th Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition that took place in Durrës, Albania, from 19 to 26 March.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy