Sévane Garibian

Prof. Sévane GARIBIAN
Principal Investigator

University of Geneva
Faculty of Law
Département de droit pénal
Office 3038
Bd du Pont d'Arve 40
CH-1211 Genève 4

Tel: +41 22 37 90 793

Sévane Garibian holds a PhD in Law from the Universities of Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La-Défense (Paris X) and Geneva. She is currently an SNF Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and an Associate Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Neuchâtel (UNINE). She is also an Associate Researcher at the Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux (EHESS / CNRS, Paris) and the Laboratoire Anthropologie bio-culturelle, Droit, Ethique & Santé (Aix-Marseille Université / CNRS). She is notably a member of the steering committee of the Centre d'étude, de technique et d'évaluation législatives (UNIGE) and a member of the scientific board of the Association francophone de justice transitionnelle. In December 2013, she was a judge at the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal for Sri Lanka, in Bremen. As a member of the research program "Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide" directed by Elisabeth Anstett (EHESS / CNRS) and Jean-Marc Dreyfus (University of Manchester), and funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant, 2012-2016), she (co-)organized multiple research missions and scientific events. She is the author of numerous publications and (co-)director of several collective volumes (see list of publications).

From 1998, she taught in several fields of Public Law and in Introduction to Political Sciences in France (Universities of Versailles-Saint-Quentin and Paris X). Since 2008, she has taught in Philosophy of Law (UNINE, and UNIGE in 2012) and in International Criminal Law (UNIGE 2012-2015 and 2017) in Switzerland. In 2014 and 2015, she contributed to the Antonio Cassese Summer School "Transitional Justice, Conflict and Human Rights" of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (course : "Rethinking the Role of the Courts : Argentina’s Truth Trials"). Since 2016, she has taught in the new Master of Advanced Studies "Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law", also at the Geneva Academy (course : "Theory and Function of Criminal Justice in Transitional Contexts").

Her work focuses mainly on the forms, meanings and functions of law in relation to State-sponsored crimes, and explores plural justice mechanisms (traditional / alternative, judicial / extrajudicial, international / national). During her doctoral research, she studied the connection between the right to punish and the State in a particular configuration: that which emerges in the shift from a protective State to a criminal State. Later, she became interested in the relationship between law, history, science, memory and truth in the legal treatment of contemporary mass crimes and of their traces and legacies, their denial and their memorialization. In this research project, she questions the right to truth, the State obligation to investigate associated with it and the obstacles to their implementation in situations of mass crimes impunity. She also initiates work on the legal status of human remains and the rights of the dead.