International Law & International Humanitarian Law

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This course is full. Registration for summer 2024 is closed. Registration for summer 2025 opens in January 2025.

Bachelor and Masters students, PhD candidates, as well as junior professionals from all walks of life who are interested in international law and/or 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 and junior professionals 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 learners 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.


Due to the high number of applications for this course, admission can take up to 4 weeks and is subject to availability.

Please note that it is the student’s own responsibility to validate this course for credit at their home university prior to the summer school, as specified in our Terms & Conditions.



1 week (International Humanitarian Law) 08.07.2024 - 12.07.2024
UNIGE students: CHF 250
External students (*): CHF 900
Junior professionals (*): CHF 1,100 

2 weeks (International Law) 24.06.2024 - 05.07.2024
UNIGE students: CHF 300
External students (*): CHF 1,400
Junior professionals (*): CHF 1,700 

3 weeks (International Law & International Humanitarian Law) 24.06.2024 - 12.07.2024
UNIGE students : CHF 350
External students (*): CHF 1,800
Junior professionals (*): CHF 2,200

(*) Bachelor and master’s degree-seeking students only. The tuition fees for lifelong learning students are subject to employment status.

3 Weeks Course + Accommodation Package

Participants who take the 3-week module choosing the package can register through us for housing at the Cité universitaire de Genève. Only a limited number of rooms are available for that course. All applications are handled on a first-come-first-served basis and assignments will be subject to availability.

Note: We only arrange housing from Saturday to Saturday.

Price accommodation: CHF 1008 / 3 weeks





Course Director:

Dr. Elena Cima

Elena Cima is a Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Geneva, where she teaches courses on international environmental law, energy law, and investment law.  

She holds a PhD in International Law from the Geneva Graduate Institute, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Milan and an LL.M degree from Yale Law School, where she was editor of the Yale Journal of International Law. She also supervises several international environmental and economic law clinic projects at the LLM Program in Public International Law at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

She has published in several peer-reviewed journals on international environmental law, as well as on the interface between international environmental law and trade, investment, human rights and energy law, and has recently published a monograph with Brill entitled From Exception to Promotion: Rethinking the Relationship between International Trade and Environmental Law.

Elena  often participates in international treaty negotiations and arbitrations in relation to climate change, water, trade and investment law.


Océane Reuse

Course Coordinator

Océane Reuse is a Master's student at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva. Having successfully earned her bachelor's degree in Swiss Law, she decided to specialize in International Law with a focus on Business and Human Rights. She is currently enriching her academic experience through an exchange program at Seoul National University School of Law.

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.