Today, the international community seems to be at a crucial junction and international law as a tool for this community, confronted with its limits. Disinformation, fake news and distrust between West and East bring back memories of the Cold War during the 20th century. With my studies in Public International Law I hope to contribute in strengthening this highly important tool so that the international community’s underlying framework of law is able to adapt to the current challenges that it is facing.

Due to my interest in international law related issues, I decided to give my career a different direction and therefore, after graduating with a Bachelor in Business Administration at the University of St.Gallen, I started a Master in International Law. Within my Master’s, I specialize on public international law (in particular International Humanitarian Law (IHL), International Criminal Law (ICL), and Information Warfare).

Concerned with the current state of affairs, I’m writing my Master’s thesis about “information campaigns aimed at democratic election processes”. So much of our international relations are now bound up in the cyber domain, and the existing rules of the road are riddled with grey areas and incomplete understanding. New communication and information technologies increasingly provide platforms for propaganda, systematic internet trolling or misinformation. In particular, the misuse of information to influence and undermine democratic elections is a highly dangerous development, since free and fair elections are at the core of a Democracy. This problem becomes even more apparent considering that Democracies have limited means to fight back such information campaigns, since they are for instance limited by the freedom of expression. However, how can democracies protect themselves and react against such interferences and how is international law supposed to apply?

To further study this crucial topic and to gain an additional invaluable intercultural experience, I have the chance to take part in a Double Degree Program (DDP) with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston. The Legum Magister (LL.M.) in International Law from The Fletcher School will provide me with the opportunity to further enhance the international focus of my Master studies. It will also give me the occasion to meet diverse national and international professionals, scholars and students in the fields of international law and diplomacy from all over the world in a very close setting.

I am very excited about my upcoming time in the US and would like to express my gratitude to the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala for awarding me a scholarship, thanks to which I will be able to fully benefit from my program abroad.