Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict: What Participants Say

4 April 2023

Giada Rubino follows our online Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict while working as a Human Rights Associate at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Colombia.
In this position, she monitors violations of international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) – with a specific focus on the rule of law – in the department of Arauca which borders Venezuela. She also provides technical assistance to the Colombian Government, in particular to the National Army and National Police to strengthen the application of IHL and IHRL in their operations.

Previously, Giada worked as a Human Rights Officer in the Civic Space Unit at OHCHR in Honduras, as a Human Rights Adviser with APRODEH in Perú, and as a Gender Advisor and a Project Manager coordinating EU projects on gender and migration in both Italy and France. In Perú, she coordinated capacity-building programmes for indigenous human rights defenders and the communities they represent, monitored the implementation of the Integral Reparations Programme (PIR) and provided support to the families of the victims of enforced disappearance.

Why did you decide to Follow this Programme?

I studied political science and international relations, but I have always been interested in international law.

Since I started working in Colombia, a complex context affected by more than 58 years of conflict, I realized that I needed to acquire academic knowledge in the international law of armed conflict to do in-depth analysis and conduct legal discussions with key interlocutors.

What do you particularly enjoy about it?

I particularly enjoy when we work in groups as this allows me to interact with other participants and debate specific cases. In addition, understanding the interplay of public international law, IHL, IHRL, and international criminal law is fascinating and expands my understanding of the legal frameworks applying to armed conflicts.

Does it meet your expectations?

Many of the courses exceeded my expectations, especially the courses on IHL and IHRL, enabling a critical, rather than theoretical, approach to complex issues. Concerning others, I recommend adding more opportunities for group work.

How is distance learning?

Although I prefer in-person classes to know other colleagues and establish strong relationships, distance learning is very functional for professionals like me. I was able to attend most of the classes, and when I was on missions, I could, upon my return, easily access all the courses recordings. Another important aspect that I would like to underline is the high professionalism and kindness of the Teaching Assistants who are always available to help me.

Can you easily manage following this programme and working at the same time?

Studying and working at the same time is a challenge. Although I had done it in the past, this time, I found it very difficult due to my workload and the different time zone. To facilitate the learning process, it would be ideal to practice more case analysis, instead of readings.

What will it bring to your career?

I can already observe the benefit it brings to my current position, since it has enhanced my understanding of the interplay between IHRL and IHL in armed conflict, and above all my confidence when I must apply it in my daily work. I am also excited to write a paper.

I expect that the next contributions will be new opportunities at the professional level.

Would you recommend it?

Yes, I recommend this programme to anyone wishing to broaden or acquire legal knowledge of international law and work in conflict and post-conflict situations, as well as to those interested in the subjects covered by the programme.

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