From Northern Ireland to Burundi, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, Tunisia or Guatemala, countries throughout the world struggle to deal with the aftermath of violent conflict or oppressive rule. What does it mean for a society to come to terms with mass atrocities, such as genocide and ethnic cleansing? How can the rule of law be re-established in a country shattered by wide-scale violence? What are the legal obligations and standards relevant to societies trying to turn the page on a history of political violence? How can the competing demands of peace and justice be balanced in the aftermath of such traumatic events? What can realistically be expected from measures such as trials, truth commissions, reparation programs, and institutional reform?
The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law (MTJ) is a one-year full-time postgraduate degree designed for highly qualified and open-minded candidates interested in acquiring high-level academic education and practice in the field of transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law. One of the very few programs on this subject worldwide, its cross-disciplinary approach combines legal, political, historical, anthropological, philosophical and field perspectives and promotes both academic excellence and independent critical thinking.
Throughout the year, students have access to a prestigious faculty composed of leading academics and renowned experts and practitioners working for international organizations and NGOs who are in touch with the latest developments and debates.
An ongoing focus on practice via exchanges with practitioners, work on concrete case scenarios, a study trip, and clinical work allows students to develop the transferable skills necessary to succeed in the professional world and take up responsibilities in the field of transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law.
The MTJ (60 ECTS credits) is structured around the following components:
Core courses are mandatory and run over the two semesters. They are structured in six clusters that cover central theoretical and practical issues in the fields of transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law.
Spring Term Tracks
During the Spring Semester, three different tracks – Thematic Focus, Clinical Work or Academic Research – allow students to tailor their studies according to their particular interests.
The master’s paper gives students an opportunity to investigate a subject of special interest to them, deepening their knowledge and expertise through research as well as exchanges with experts, scholars, and practitioners.
Transitional Justice Cafés
In this series of events, leading experts and practitioners discuss with students topical issues and concrete situations in the field of transitional justice.
In the second semester, students go on a study trip to familiarize themselves with the history of transitional justice.
An Exceptional Learning Environment
The MTJ is organized around small and intimate learning communities. This creates an exceptional learning environment where students from all over the world and with a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, experiences and motivations have access to a world-renowned faculty at the cutting-edge of transitional justice issues and challenges.
As a human rights and peacebuilding hub, Geneva offers a broad range of conferences and public events featuring key experts and topics, as well as providing access to leading actors in the field.
With more than 70 public events, expert seminars and conferences organized every year, we host some of the world’s leading academics and practitioners who share their research, views, and experiences with our students and directly touch upon topics addressed in the program.
The Foundation for a Successful Career
The MTJ provides the necessary legal and practical skills for a successful career in
inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with transitional justice, human rights, the rule of law, peace negotiations or international criminal justice, as well as in public administration, international tribunals or academic institutions.
Candidates must have:
- A degree in law or an equivalent degree in a field relevant to transitional justice, such as international relations, political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology or history.
- A solid academic record.
- A demonstrable interest in transitional justice, human rights and the rule of law (professional experience, internships, summer schools, conferences attended, publications, etc.).
- A sound command of English. You must be able to show, via a recognized test, that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at the Geneva Academy. This requirement does not apply if (1) your mother tongue is English; (2) you have taken an English-taught bachelor’s or master’s degree; (3) you have at least two years’ professional or academic experience in an English-speaking environment.
A Comprehensive Assessment
Each application is considered in its entirety, including transcripts, extracurricular and voluntary activities, work experience, personal background, letters of recommendation, personal statement and language skills.
In considering each individual, the Admissions Committee seeks not only to identify characteristics that are important to academic success in the program but also other qualities that promote diversity and excellence in the student body.
About the School
The Geneva Academy is a joint centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.