The Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict




Payment Required


18,000 Swiss Francs or Candidates who pay their tuition fee in full before 15 October receive a 10 percent discount (16,200 Swiss Francs).


120B rue de Lausanne


Based in Geneva, this executive programme runs for nine months (October–June) and admits 15 to 20 practitioners annually. Six to nine additional months are needed to complete a master’s thesis and defend it before a jury.

Courses take place on Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons at our headquarters, Villa Moynier. They cover the law of armed conflict, international human rights law and international criminal law. They also address current issues and challenges, including the repression of terrorism, peacekeeping and international refugee law.

Taught by Geneva-based law professors and world-renowned law experts and professors, the programme enables participants to gain specialized knowledge directly applicable to professional work. It also responds to the growing need for specialists to address complex situations – in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere – and challenging processes such as criminal proceedings, international negotiations and humanitarian interventions.

The programme is structured around four modules that provide a solid theoretical and practical knowledge of the law that applies to armed conflicts. Modules are complemented by a five-day intensive extracurricular seminar, Leading in the Human Rights Council, and the writing of a master’s thesis.

Module 1: Public International Law

This module comprises courses on the sources and subjects of public international law, sanctions in public international law, and the rules that govern the use of force in international law and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’.

Module 2: International Humanitarian Law

This module comprises courses on the basic principles of international humanitarian law (IHL), the protection of persons and property in international armed conflict, the classification of armed conflicts and the law of non-international armed conflicts.

Module 3: Human Rights in Armed Conflict

This module comprises courses on international refugee law, the interplay between IHL and human rights and peacebuilding in post-conflict situations.

Module 4: International Criminal Law

This module comprises courses on international criminal law and the International Criminal Court and tribunals.

Five-Day Intensive Seminar: Leading in the Human Rights Council

This extracurricular seminar, ahead of the main session of the Human Rights Council, allows participants to develop their network and acquire the necessary skills to lead and perform effectively in this major forum for human rights diplomacy.

Master’s Thesis

One of the core outputs of the Executive Master is a master’s thesis written under the guidance of a faculty member. Participants are not required to remain on campus or in Geneva to write their thesis.

Who should attend

Diplomats, lawyers, legal advisers, judges, NGO staff, human rights advocates, media specialists, professionals working in emergency situations, UN staff and staff from other international organizations share expertise, discuss pressing concerns and reflect on the application of international law to their work.

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Wheelchair access

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Entry Requirements

Candidates must have:

  • Work experience in a relevant field
  • A bachelor's degree
  • Proficiency in English: candidates whose mother tongue is not English must provide a certificate to prove their knowledge of English or a statement highlighting their solid background in English
  • A valid visa or residence permit (only applicants who require a visa to enter the Schengen area)