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Geneva Summer Schools 2015 – International Humanitarian Law

June 22, 2015 - July 10, 2015


The course methodology insists on the importance of a practice-based teaching of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the law protecting persons affected by armed conflicts, thus combining theory and discussions of contemporary conflicts. During the course of the programme, participants will:

  • Receive in-depth presentations on the basic principles and on some current controversies on international humanitarian law;
  • Participate in simulations, by representing parties to current armed conflicts;
  • Engage in interactive debates on “hot topics” in IHL with scholars and practitioners.
  • Reflect on the legal framework applicable to present conflicts.
  • Visit the International Committee of the Red Cross and discuss with its practitioners;
  • Realize that and how IHL is actually being applied in contemporary practice and that it guides those seeking answers to the legal problems arising from armed conflicts.
  • Receive teaching from a mix of eminent scholars, young researchers, military lawyers, and humanitarian practitioners from organizations based in Geneva.
  • 6 ECTS.

Course Program 2015 (Will be published early 2015)


At the end of the course, participants will:

  • Uderstand and apply the appropriate legal framework to the various situations of violence and differentiate between international and non-international armed conflict and internal tensions and disturbances;
  • Explain the different categories of protected persons during international armed conflict, their status and the rules applicable to them;
  • Explain the law governing the conduct of hostilities, including targeting of persons and legality of specific weapons;
  • Be able to apply the rules of international humanitarian law to contemporary armed conflicts;
  • Describe the interaction between the various legal regimes applicable to armed conflict situations, including – in addition to international humanitarian law – international human rights law and international criminal law;
  • Be able to participate in debates on the contemporary legal issues linked to armed conflicts.


In addition to individual participation in class, in order to obtain 6 ECTS credits, participants will be asked to submit a short paper on a topic selected from a list determined by the course director.


Professor Marco Sassòli (Course Director)
University of Geneva

Anne Quintin (Course assistant)
University of Geneva

Speakers: The course will be taught by a mix of eminent scholars, young researchers, military lawyers, and humanitarian practitioners. In particular, faculty will include professors from the University of Geneva, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and other top-ranking universities, as well as professionals from organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva Call, or the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. In addition to the course director and course assistant, speakers already confirmed include:

Contact:  gss@unige.ch


The course welcomes applications from graduate or post-graduate students (currently enrolled in master degree or above) in law, international relations or related areas, Ph.D candidates, and humanitarian practitioners. Upper-year undergraduate students may also apply, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that this is a master-level course. Background in public international law is recommended, although not required.


Tuition Fees: 2500 CHF (with possibilities of receiving scholarships in the form of tuition reduction upon motivated request)

Deadline of application: April 15, 2015


June 22, 2015
July 10, 2015
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University of Geneva Faculty of Law
40, Boulevard du Pont-d'Arve
Geneva, 1205 Switzerland
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