The University of Lausanne (UNIL)

UNIL campus The University of Lausanne (UNIL) is a research institution composed of seven faculties where approximately 14,000 students and 2,800 researchers work and study.

UNIL is focused on several academic disciplines, especially Medicine, Life Sciences, Geosciences, Environment, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences. An emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach, with close cooperation between students, teaching staff, and professors.

The University of Lausanne’s main campus is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. This picturesque landscape of the Alps and Lake provides the ideal setting for study and research. To preserve this natural environment, UNIL’s campus is managed according to the principles of sustainable development.

The University of Lausanne is situated in the heart of the French-speaking region of Switzerland, found in the centre of Western Europe – close to France, Germany, Italy, and Austria. It pursues an active policy of collaboration at both local and international levels.

On 1st October 2007, the University Institutes of Legal Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva and the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of Lausanne merged to become the University Centre of Legal Medicine (CURML).

Located on the two University Hospital sites of Lausanne and Geneva, the CURML employs around 140 people in the following seven specialist units: Forensic medicine; Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry ; Traffic Medicine and Psychology; Violence Medicine, Legal Psychiatry; Medical Law, Ethics and Humanitarian Medicine; Forensic Genetics; and the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses.

Through the versatility of its skill sets, the CURML is able to respond to requests for expertise, assistance and advice in the fields of legal medicine, medical law and doping analysis. Based in the Lake Geneva area, its influence extends not only locally and regionally, but also at a national and international level.

The CURML works essentially with legal authorities and the police, cantonal administrations responsible for road traffic management, national and international sports federations, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee, public and private international institutions (United Nations, World Health Organization, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Council of Europe, International Criminal Court, as well as non-governmental organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty international, Physicians for Human Rights, Alkarama for Human Rights) where the CURML’s expertise can play a part in resolving problems.

Because of its University nature, the CURML is also actively involved in teaching and continuing education, as well as research in all areas within its scope. The aim of this presentation is not only to inform the public about the activities and skills of CURML, but also, through a description of the missions of this academic institution, to provide insight into the attraction, diversity and complexity of the discipline of legal medicine.