The Lucerne Academy for Human Rights Implementation is a worldwide unique, multifaceted summer school. It provides students with a variety of excellent academic experiences. The Summer School consists of distinguished courses, core lunchtime seminars, excursions to both Geneva and Strasbourg and a prominent Moot Court exercise, all of which will be conducted in English.

The detailed programme will be announced later this year.


Students have to attend one mandatory introductory class. In addition, they can choose three out of five available subjects, resulting in a course load of four classes in total.

Lunch Seminars

During lunchtime, students are treated to a lecture by visiting professors and guests as well as a lunch. The lunch seminars provide an opportunity for students to interact with their professors and have a more relaxed informal setting to ask questions and socialise with each other. The Lucerne Academy always welcomes guests from all over the world.

Moot Court

The moot court exercise is the prominent feature of our program.

Taking knowledge and applying it simultaneously in a practical situation is key to being a successful lawyer. Students will quickly implement the knowledge they receive from the classroom setting, as well as receive invaluable training in litigating. Students will be instructed by very experienced Moot Court experts. Students will be given a scenario early. In groups, the students will then be given tasks of drafting written memorials for submission. During week 3, the students will participate in oral hearings on the merits.

Students who advance to the final round plead their case in a real courtroom at the Lucerne Cantonal Court or the Swiss Supreme Court Section in Lucerne. In the past years we had the honor of welcoming distinguished personalities, who served as presiding judges.

  • 2013: Judge O'Scannlain (9th Circuit Court of Appeals)
  • 2014: Jane Connors (Director, Research and Right to Development Division, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)
  • 2015: Marco Kalbusch (Secretary of the Conference on Disarmament, Deputy to the Director of UNODA, UN)
  • 2016: Justice Johann van der Westhuizen (South African Constitutional Court) 
  • 2018: Mark Villiger (former Judge and Section President at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg)
  • 2019: Mihail Stojanoski (lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg)

After the completion of the Lucerne Academy Moot Court, students will be prepared to succesfully participate in major international moot courts at their home Universities. For students from the University of Lucerne please check Overview Moot Courts University of Lucerne

Excursion to Geneva

All students will take a trip to Geneva, where they will visit the European Headquarters of the United Nations, as well as NGOs to learn about their work and to attend seminars in the field of human rights litigation.

Previous Sessions included:  

  • Briefing from the OMCT (World Organization against Torture)
  • Briefing from Geneva for Human Rights
  • Briefing at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Palais des Nations
  • International Committee of the Red Cross Museum
  • Briefing at the International Organization for Migration

Excursion to Strasbourg

During the excursion to the French City of Strasbourg, the participants will visit the seat of the European Court of Human Rights. Participants will have the opportunity to immerse into the workings of a regional Human Rights Court and acquire insight into the reality of human rights implementation. Furthermore, the participants will visit the Council of Europe.