The LL.M. in International Law programme at the Geneva Graduate Institute was founded in 2013 to complement the Institute’s offering of competitive international law courses. In March 2023, we celebrated our 10th anniversary, bringing together alumni and faculty. Over the past decade, our LL.M. programme has become one of the top degree-granting courses in international law globally, consistently ranking in the top-5 of best LL.M. in international law programmes in the world.
Distinctive features of our course include the combination of theoretical and practical training, the student-faculty ratio, the diversity of faculty on the course, the combination of a solid general foundation in international law and specialisation in one of three concentration streams, and its strategic location in the heart of International Geneva. As Judge Yusuf, former President of the International Court of Justice and an alumnus of the Graduate Institute, highlighted in his speech to the LL.M. graduating class of 2020, our LL.M. in International Law programme “covers exactly what young aspiring international lawyers need in terms of training”.
The world-renowned faculty in International Law at the Institute contributes courses specially designed for the LL.M. programme, and our students also take optional courses alongside law and interdisciplinary students at the Institute. Moreover, we have a range of high-level practitioners who teach in our programme. In recent years, this has included a sitting judge at an international tribunal, a member of the International Law Commission, a former member of the UN Human Rights Committee, a lawyer from the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat, and partners of two reputed Geneva- and Washington, D.C.-based international law firms.
Legal clinics are a central component of the LL.M. programme. During the spring semester, students work in groups on a variety of projects with international organisations on real international law issues. The legal clinics match the concentration streams: protection of the individual, international economic law, and international environmental law. Examples from 2023 include a project with Trial International in which students researched the domestic legal venues for accountability for international crimes committed by private military and security companies; a project with the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) in which students explored legal arguments on geoengineering in the context of climate change; and a project in which students contributed to revising the handbook of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) entitled Investment Treaties and Why They Matter to Sustainable Development.
We recently had the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2023, and a few days later, we welcomed our Class of 2024. We are proud of our growing alumni group, and we look forward to another exciting year.
More information about the programme on executive.graduateinstitute.ch/llm