Did you know that we offer an LL.M. in International Law for postgraduates? This one-year degree course provides advanced, comprehensive and practice-oriented training in international law. The LL.M. is designed to provide a firm grounding in public international law. It allows students to tailor their studies according to their particular interests by choosing one of the three concentration streams offered: International Economic Law, International Environmental Law and Governance, and The Protection of the Individual in International Law.
To celebrate this year’s LL.M. 10th Anniversary, Tadeja Urbas, an alumna of the 2021 cohort, shares her experience at the Graduate Institute and gives us her insight into studying the LL.M. and living in Geneva.
“A transitional city with a soul” is how I would describe Geneva. It is a type of city that people move to in order to advance their careers, gain valuable skills, meet inspiring new people and aspire to become part of the international expat community. Therefore, its inhabitants’ “transitory mentality” greatly resembles other vibrant, culturally diverse capitals – such as New York – with one massive difference. Geneva’s long-lasting international history and its front seat to all global podium developments have given it an empowering and contagious perception that all opportunities are accessible and all goals are reachable. And that transits into the soul of the city.
I selected the Geneva Graduate Institute as I primarily wanted to gain more insight into the field of Public International Law, i.e. to be taught by highly respected international experts and to contribute to the protection of individuals in practice by working for different organisations based in Geneva. Noting that it is one of the highest ranked L.L.M. in International Law on the L.L.M.-guide, it perfectly combines all of the herein-stated advantages. My selected concentration stream was the protection of the individual.
My 2021 class consisted of 28 highly-motivated young professionals from all over the world, eager to engage in class debates, workshops, tutorials and legal clinics. Our class had the misfortune of having started our L.L.M. journey during Covid-19 times, and our experience sadly did not include a broad array of events with high-level speakers, as is accustomed for the Institute to host. Yet, we had the privilege of being physically present on the ground and exploring the Institute’s premises, especially its library, while the rest of the world had come to a standstill.
During the programme, the wide focus was placed on identifying the core legal issues at hand and critically evaluating them while maintaining the learning process entertaining and captivating. For example, during one of our International Humanitarian Law (I.H.L.) lectures, we dedicated our time to analysing the scenes of the series Game of Thrones and identified all potential I.H.L. violations. Believing that thorough research is an essential part of providing a strongly opinionated response, the programme also aimed to improve our ability to extract the kernel from a substantial amount of information in an effective manner and thus deepen our knowledge of Public International Law. It also allowed us to contribute to academic debates by applying the valuable insight already gained in this field. We were, for example, challenged in class to assume the role of legal advisors of a hypothetical State and to provide reliable legal defence on the spot. Most valuable, however, proved to be the soft skills gained, namely the understanding of the importance of networking, which is crucial in an international environment such as Geneva, and the ability to cope with stressful situations.
Looking back at my L.L.M. experience, I undoubtedly recommend everyone interested in International Law to embark on this unique journey as it has provided me with a crucial skillset for my further career and has included me within a Geneva Graduate Institute community I’m proud to be part of.
Tadeja Urbas, alumna of the 2021 L.L.M. in International Law cohort
Want to learn more about our L.L.M. in International Law? Visit the programme page.