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UJ Law shines at prestigious San Remo International Humanitarian Law course in Italy

From 3 to 7 June 2024, Professor Martha M. Bradley, along with SARCIL International Law LLD students Ms. Thelma Chinyamurindi, Ms. Megan van Schalkwyk, and Miss Danielle Crafford, attended the 51st San Remo Advanced Course on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Italy. This comprehensive week-long course covered key Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello principles in both international and non-international armed conflicts, contextualised against current operational situations.

UJ’s distinguished representation at a global forum

The 51st Advanced Course on IHL is renowned for attracting diverse stakeholders, including military and civilian legal advisors, NGO representatives, academics, and students. This year, 49 participants from 26 countries attended the course, which is recognized globally as a leading program in International Humanitarian Law.

Representing the University of Johannesburg (UJ) were three doctoral students from the National Research Foundation’s South African Research Chair in International Law (SARCIL) and the Department of Public Law. The UJ delegation excelled, with all three members earning certificates after successfully navigating the rigorous selection process and participating in practical simulation exercises.

Professor Martha M. Bradley
Professor Martha M. Bradley

This year’s participation continues UJ’s strong presence at the San Remo Advanced Course. Notably, in May 2019, Professor Bradley, then a Post-Doc to the NRF SARCIL Chair, completed the course, marking a pivotal moment in her career. Sponsored by Professor Hennie Strydom, her contributions caught the attention of the course director, Col. Mark Dakers, leading to her invitation to join the teaching staff in 2021. She has since been the only female academic and African representative teaching in this course.

Enhancing expertise and bridging theory with practice

Professor Bradley once again participated as a member of the teaching staff for the 51st Advanced Course in June 2024. Alongside her was Air Commodore (Ret) Bill Boothby, a Visiting Professor at UJ’s Faculty of Law. Their involvement underscores UJ’s significant contribution to global IHL education.

Professor Bradley attributes her career transformation to the training received at San Remo. Sponsored by the NRF SARCIL Chair, these certification courses have equipped her to train military personnel, humanitarian aid workers, civilians, and academics globally. Her advanced training at San Remo has enabled her to oversee various IHL topics and adopt a practical approach to her research, benefiting from instruction by distinguished military officers and leading academics in the field.

Commitment to IHL excellence and inclusivity

Teaching in the Advanced Course enriches Professor Bradley’s research and enhances her teaching at UJ. She and Professor Hennie Strydom are deeply committed to cultivating IHL expertise across Africa. Their goal is to ensure the continent produces IHL experts, including individuals from underrepresented groups such as women and LGBTQI+ members.

Professor Bradley’s dedication to impactful research bridges theory and practice, aligning with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, ensure access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Acknowledgment of support

Professor Bradley believes it is crucial to share the transformative San Remo experience with her students. This opportunity was made possible through the support of Professor Hennie Strydom (NRF SARCIL), the Department of Public Law, and the Faculty of Law at UJ. Their continued support is instrumental in fostering the next generation of IHL experts and reinforcing UJ’s leadership in this critical field.

Academic enrichment

Ms. Thelma Chinyamurindi, LLD Student
Ms. Thelma Chinyamurindi, LLD Student

“Beyond offering extremely valuable and relevant course material, the Advanced Course provided an excellent opportunity for networking with individuals I wouldn’t typically have the chance to meet and connect with. It enabled me to gain firsthand operational experience in my research topic, which as an academic is often predominantly informed by theory.” —Ms. Thelma Chinyamurindi, LLD Student

Career and personal growth

“I had the privilege of attending the 51st Advanced Course on International Humanitarian Law at the prestigious Institute of International Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy. I was grateful for the opportunity to attend alongside my colleagues, Ms. Thelma Chinyamurindi, Ms. Megan van Schalkwyk, and my supervisor, Professor Martha Bradley. I believe this course was an extremely valuable contribution to my career and wish to relive the opportunities, friendships, and experiences I shared with my team. I love Italy and have special memories of the Italian Riviera. I could not be prouder to represent UJ and thank the Faculty of Law at UJ, Professor Martha Bradley, Professor Hennie Strydom, and NRF for believing in me and providing such opportunities to my colleagues and me.” —Miss Danielle Crafford, LLD Student.

Miss Danielle Crafford, LLD Student.
Miss Danielle Crafford, LLD Student.

Research and practical insights

“As an LLD candidate and aspiring IHL lawyer conducting research in this field, I found this experience invaluable. I had the opportunity to learn from top academic voices and military operators and engage with participants from diverse legal, military, and NGO backgrounds. This was not only an excellent networking opportunity but also provided me with invaluable insights into the different perspectives and experiences of those working on the ground in armed conflict situations, delivering humanitarian assistance, and those advising their states or armed forces on IHL.

Ms. Megan van Schalkwyk, LLD Student
Ms. Megan van Schalkwyk, LLD Student

I am incredibly grateful to the Institute for organizing this exceptional course, and to the University of Johannesburg and the South African Research Chair in International Law for facilitating my participation. I am also grateful to my supervisors, Professors Hennie Strydom and Martha M. Bradley, for their ongoing support and guidance to our LLD cohort. They have created a world-class program, and I deeply appreciate their efforts in making these opportunities a reality.” —Ms. Megan van Schalkwyk, LLD Student

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