Programme Overview

International Law & International Humanitarian Law

Geneva has long been one of the world’s capitals of international law. The presence of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and many other international organizations and NGOs make it a buzzing place in the field. This breeding ground naturally led to the focus and strength of the University of Geneva in international law. This summer course provides one of the easiest ways to have access to that world.

This course is made for students who are intrigued by international law or marvel at its day-to-day interactions with international politics, affairs and business. This is the opportunity for such students to get a crash course to introduce them to this fast moving, intellectually thrilling and profoundly humane field of the law. The course is shaped so as to bring out the best of current issues in international law, while remaining accessible to non-specialists and seeking to broach the main principles of “International Law 101”, so as to allow enthusiasts to go further.

At the end of this course, participants will have a general understanding of some of the cutting-edge issues in international law today. This will allow them to either orient their future studies or refresh and extend existing knowledge.

*Information regarding the application : The Reference Letter must be signed by the referee and written no more than one year in advance. Letters that are not specifically adressed to the GSS will not be accepted.

The 2022 programme comprises the following courses (subject to minor modifications and adjustments):

WEEKS 1 and 2: 27 June - 8 July 2022

Foundational courses:
- Sustainable development
- Non-state actors
- Politics of International Law
- International dispute settlement

Specific insights:
- International investment protection: a failed experiment?:
- The challenge of climate change
- The South China Sea Dispute
- International law and diplomats
- International law and Gender

Equivalence of 6 ECTS

WEEK 3: 11 - 15 July 2022

Course content:
- International Humanitarian Law today
- Refugee law
- Challenges of the International Criminal Court
- Terrorism
- Targeted killings
- International humanitarian law and human rights

Equivalence of 3 ECTS


WEEKS 1, 2 and 3: 27 June - 15 July 2021
Equivalence of 9 ECTS


1 week
UNIGE students : CHF 350
All others : CHF 1,500

2 weeks
UNIGE students : CHF 450
All others : CHF 2,100

3 weeks
UNIGE students : CHF 550
All others : CHF 2,500

Course Directors:

Professor Makane Mbengue

Academic Director
University of Geneva

Makane Moïse Mbengue is Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva and Director of the Department of International Law and International Organization. He is also an Affiliate Professor at Sciences Po Paris (School of Law). He holds a Ph.D. in Public International Law from the University of Geneva. Since 2017, he is the President of the African Society of International Law (AfSIL).

He has acted and acts as expert for the African Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) among others. He also acts as a Professor for courses in International Law organized by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) and by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Prof. Mbengue acts as counsel in disputes before international courts and tribunals (in particular, before the International Court of Justice and in investment cases) and as advisor for governments. He is involved in the negotiations of several International Investment Agreements in Africa.

He is the author of several publications in the field of international law.

Professor Thomas Schultz

Graduate Institute, Geneva
University of Geneva

Thomas Schultz is Professor of International Arbitration at the University of Geneva since 2018. He is also on the faculty of King’s College London. He was previously a Swiss National Science Foundation Research Professor (Professeur Boursier) in international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and a Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Fellow at the same institution. His research covers a range of topics and approaches in arbitration and dispute settlement, including doctrinal private and public international law, empirical studies on investment arbitration, analytic and continental legal philosophy applied to key arbitration concepts, sociological perspectives on commercial arbitration, political systems theory in international arbitration, and law and literature perspectives on dispute settlement. His work has been awarded the Jubilee Prize of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement and the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of International Arbitration. He is the author or co-author of four books on arbitration or dispute resolution (three of which he had published by the age of 30), and is working on four more.


Ines Mesek

Coordinator of the Geneva Summer School in International Law and International Humanitarian Law

University of Geneva

Ines Mesek is a Teaching and Research Assistant as well as a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva, Department of Public International Law and International Organization.

After obtaining her bachelor's degree in Law and her master's degree in International and European law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva, she has completed her legal training with an LL.M. in International law (with a specialization in international economic law) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in 2018.

Parallel to her studies, she has acquired a professional experience in a law firm in Geneva and in a law firm specialized in international civil aviation in Nyon.

Submitted by Margaux Descheemaeker, Ghent University, Belgium - 2022 Edition of IL & IHL

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the Geneva Summer Schools, participating in the course "International Law" hosted by the University of Geneva.
It was a pleasure learning about a broad range of interesting and important topics such as global health, the politics of international law, climate change, artificial intelligence in war, and ocean governance.I am looking forward to implementing all the valuable information I have gained into practice!

Submitted by Sabina Dalipova - 2015 Edition of IL & IHL

I participated in 2015 and it I got my first international law experience out of if from Prof Makane Mbengue who let me help him as a student assistant during the summer school. He subsequently wrote me a letter of recommendation for it, and it opened doors for me at the UN Office of Legal Affairs in New York, in an international law firm in Hong Kong and at the ICC in Paris…. And all this helped me land my first job at the UN now in New York. So very thankful to Prof. Kolb for recommending me to go to GSS and to Makane Mbengue for giving me the opportunity to get my first student job experience in international law which did a dominos effect to the current job I have now.