8 December 2020
Katja Schöberl graduated from our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in 2008.
After a one-year traineeship within the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s Legal Division, she returned to the Geneva Academy in 2009 to work as a teaching assistant. In 2012, she took on a position as IHL Legal Adviser for the German Red Cross in Berlin, where she has been living and working since.
The LLM offered the most rigorous education in international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights in armed conflict, backed by the Geneva Academy’s founding institutions’ renewed commitment to a specialized programme in these areas of law. The depth and range of IHL training were deciding factors for my choice and had often been identified as outstanding qualities of this programme by IHL professionals I approached to seek advice.
The programme offers students the opportunity to strive for academic excellence, to be taught by leading experts, to gain valuable practical experience and to learn among a highly diverse group of students. I have followed with great interest and admiration how the LLM programme has flourished since we were enrolled as the Geneva Academy’s first cohort in 2007. The programme is today firmly anchored in what the Geneva Academy’s staff has been able to impressively build over the years: a place of outstanding teaching and research. The continuous development of the catalogue of optional courses is merely one indication of the Geneva Academy’s dedication to include the most relevant and topical issues in its teaching. The inclusion of internship opportunities, clinical legal work and pleadings into the LLM programme has enabled students to develop their practical skills even more strongly.
I was, and continue to be, deeply impressed with the teaching staff’s profound dedication to training young international lawyers. Professors, lecturers and teaching assistants generously shared their expertise in and experience with international law, including their remarkable achievements, professional setbacks, open questions as well as hopes and aspirations for international law. The didactical approach adopted within the LLM programme (inductive analyses, case-based methods, group work) fostered a dialogue in which diverse opinions, critical views and new proposals were always welcome.
The numerous discussions inside and outside the classroom, including at various apéros.
The programme has allowed me to start a career in IHL. It has provided me with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work in a professional context dealing with IHL, such as the ICRC and the German Red Cross. It has also contributed significantly to my academic development and has allowed me to pursue a doctorate in IHL. Since graduation, the programme has continued to enrich my professional life. It has generated a community of IHL professionals whose work in and reflections about international law have a significant impact on my work. The Geneva Academy and its staff have created an extraordinary space for alumni and students of the programme to meet and I am always grateful for the possibility to reconnect with them at one of the Geneva Academy’s conferences and events.
I would, and regularly do, highly recommend the programme to any student looking for an intellectually challenging and truly rewarding post-graduate education in IHL.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most meetings and exchanges had to take place online.
Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) online portal provides a detailed analysis of these conflicts, including information about the parties, classification, and applicable international law.
Join us for our open house to learn more about this part-time programme designed professionals, meet staff, students and alumni, and discuss career opportunities.
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.
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy