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Second Annual IHL Student Writing Competition

The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law, together with the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict (ASIL), launched the Second Annual International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition in Fall 2011. The Competition was designed to promote and enhance scholarship in international humanitarian law (IHL) among students, as well as to deepen their understanding of this important and evolving area of law.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Competition! We received 53 submissions from 13 countries around the world and are very gratified by the response to the Competition.

Congratulations to Marcos Kotlik, our first place winner from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, whose winning paper is titled Towards Equality of Belligerents: Why Are Armed Groups Bound by IHL?; and Sarah Brechwald, our second place winner from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, USA, whose winning paper is titled Material Support for Terrorism as a Law of War Offense: An Analysis of US v. Hamdan and US v. Al Bahlul.

On March 28, 2012, the Center and ASIL convened the Competition's culminating conference entitled International Humanitarian Law: Emerging Issues in the Law of Armed Conflict at the Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. The 2012 Competition winners presented their papers in discussion with an esteemed panel of IHL experts, followed by a luncheon keynote address by WCL Professor and Center Co-Director Diane Orentlicher, former Deputy for War Crimes Issues at the US Department of State. The conference concluded with an in-depth roundtable discussion with high-level experts on cyber warfare and IHL.

For more information and a full list of panelists, see the conference agenda.

A Special Thank You to Our 2012 Honor Jury and Judges

We would also like to thank our panel of seven distinguished judges who served as the 2012 Honor Jury, as well as the prestigious group of academics and practitioners who served as judges for the first round of evaluating submissions for the competition. Without their help, this competition would not have been possible.

HONOR JURY:

  • Antoine Bouvier, Legal Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross;
  • David Crane, Professor of Practice at Syracuse University College of Law;
  • Claudio Grossman, Dean of American University Washington College of Law;
  • Hadar Harris, Executive Director of the WCL Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law;
  • Richard Jackson, Chairperson of the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict at the American Society of International Law;
  • Gabor Rona, International Legal Director at Human Rights First; and
  • Marco Sasoli, Professor of Law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. 

FIRST ROUND JUDGES:

  • Laurie Blank, Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University;
  • Lucy Brown, Senior Advisor at the International Humanitarian Law & Policy at the American Red Cross;
  • Caroline Davidson, Assistant Professor of Law at Williamette University;
  • Ashley Deeks, Academic Fellow at Columbia University;
  • Major John Dehn (Ret.), Assistant Professor at the U.S. Military Academy;
  • Aaron Fellmeth, Professor of Law at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor Law School;
  • Kristine Huskey, Director of the Anti-Torture Program at Physicians for Human Rights;
  • Kate Jastram, Senior Fellow at the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, and Lecturer in Residence at the University of California Berkeley School of Law;
  • Eric Jensen, Associate Professor of Law at Brigham Young University Law School;
  • Jennifer Khurana, Manager of International Humanitarian Law Dissemination at the American Red Cross;
  • Stefan Kirchner, Chair for Public Law at George-August University;
  • Kurt Larson, Department of Justice;
  • Claudia Martin, Professional Lecturer in Residence at WCL;
  • Michael Meier, U.S. Department of State;
  • Melanie O’Brien, Research Fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security at Griffith University;
  • Laura Olson, Member of the American Society of International Law;
  • Diego Rodriguez-Pizon, Professional Lecturer in Residence at WCL;
  • Mike Surgalla, Department of Justice;
  • Jamie Williamson, Associate Professor of Law at Northeastern School of Law; and
  • Gentian Zyberi, an independent researcher.

Learn more about the 2011 competition, winners, and jury.