Law and Policy Events 25 August 2025 09:00 - 29 August 2025 17:30

Advanced IHL Seminar for Academics and Policymakers

About the event

What are the key ongoing legal debates around contemporary IHL issues? Why does that matter for academics and policymakers? How can professionals from those sectors support each other in addressing ongoing legal and policy challenges?

Organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the Advanced IHL seminar for academics and humanitarian policymakers aims to enhance the capacity of academics to teach and research international humanitarian law (IHL) and contemporary issues arising during armed conflict, while also equipping policymakers with an in-depth understanding of ongoing legal debates and their relevance to decision-making.

The 16th edition of the Advanced IHL Seminar for Academics and Policymakers will take place in person in Geneva, at the ICRC HQ and Geneva Academy (Villa Moynier) during Summer 2025.

Profile of candidates

The seminar is addressed to both academics and policymakers. It is therefore open to lecturers, researchers, legal and policy advisers in governmental agencies, representatives from the judicial sector and donor agencies representatives. Key selection criteria will include:

  • Current involvement in the practice or teaching of IHL or in decision-making in relation to situations of armed conflict;
  • A strong motivation to improve the application and implementation of IHL on the ground;
  • Holding a teaching/research position at a university or an academic institute (academic applicants);
  • Very good knowledge of IHL and related fields of international law (academic applicants);
  • Number of years of experience/ level of responsibility as State or donor agencies representatives, or policymaker (preference will be given to participants with 7+ years of relevant experience).

As the seminar will be held in English, proficiency in this language is recommended.

Learning Outcomes

After the seminar, participants should be able to:

  • Analyze real-life scenarios to draw legally sound conclusions on the applicability of, application of and respect for IHL
  • Engage on key contemporary legal issues related to situations of armed conflict, in various professional scenarios (e.g. internal discussions; policy-making; communication)
  • Take into consideration the applicable rules of IHL, in particular those protecting persons affected by armed conflict, in decision-making processes
  • Draw a picture of advanced IHL issues, dilemmas, and existing research projects
  • Teach IHL based on contemporary practice, including through digital technology (e.g. e-learning), tools and media
  • Research IHL issues based on peer-consolidated methodology
  • Identify relevant sources to access the ICRC's positions and the Geneva Academy's initiatives in the field of IHL and humanitarian policy
  • Connect with a wider international and multi-disciplinary network of academics and policymakers


The seminar will address specific issues related to the application of IHL in current armed conflicts, but also related to IHL teaching and research in general. To get a better sense of topics addressed in the past, interested candidates are welcome to watch videos and listen to podcasts.

In addition, as this seminar will bring together audiences drawn from academia and from policymaking, the methodology will also be adapted to specific needs of each target group. The seminar's methodology is enhanced through peer-to-peer interactions and knowledge sharing. Lecturers and other academic participants will be able to bring a wide perspective in existing debates regarding key thematic issues presented during the seminar, while participants with a policymaking position will be able to share their hands-on experience and concrete questions regarding the applicability, application of, and respect for IHL in contemporary armed conflicts.

Format and expected workload

The next edition of the Advanced Seminar will include preparatory work using an e-learning platform three months ahead of the in-person event in Geneva. Participants are then expected to attend the Seminar in Geneva for one week during summer 2025. No online attendance is foreseen. Time to dedicate to the seminar should amount up to 5 hours per week for the e-learning from June 2025 on. During the week in Geneva, participants are expected to take part in all sessions actively (between 6 and 8 hours per day).

Sessions will be delivered by leading academics and professionals, including Geneva Academy experts and ICRC legal advisers. Side events may also provide participants with opportunities for further discussions with experts. Participants will be invited to keep in touch for further academic exchanges.

Application process and deadline

Applications for the 16th Advanced IHL Seminar for Academics and Policymakers will open early 2025. Applicants and those interested in receiving news in due time are invited to sign up for the ICRC's Law & Policy newsletter:

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A fee of 500 CHF, to be paid in advance, is required as a contribution for the total cost of the seminar. This covers lectures, visits and dinner the last day of the seminar. Participants are also expected to cover their travel costs to and from Geneva as well as their lunches, dinner, accommodation and transportation during their stay.

Participants are required to have a valid health and accident insurance before travelling to Geneva.

Please be informed that the number of seats should not exceed 40 participants. Attendance will be determined based on the quality and diversity of applications. Please be also aware that dates and format of this event may change due to prevailing circumstances at the time.

For any questions or queries, please send your email to:





Date & Time

25 August 2025 09:00 - 29 August 2025 17:30

Venue address

ICRC Humanitarium, 17, Avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

Villa Moynier, 120B Route de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 1, Switzerland