Washington College of Law Hosts 14th Annual Inter-American Moot Court Competition

Eighty-eight teams from 33 countries compete


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, May 19, 2009 – The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law is hosting the 14th Annual Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, May 17-22. 

The competition is the only trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) moot court competition in the world. It is dedicated to the Inter-American Human Rights legal system and seeks to promote and develop the understanding of human rights law and to foster a vibrant academic exchange among universities of the Americas and beyond.  More than 600 students, professors, and attorneys are participating in this academic exercise. There are 88 teams from 33 countries, most of them coming from the Americas and six from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

"This competition creates extraordinary opportunities for law students from all over the world to gain expertise on the workings of the Inter-American system," says WCL Dean Claudio Grossman, who is chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture and a judge in the final competition.  "The continued growth of the competition has greatly contributed to the strengthening of human rights legal education in the universities that have participated in this event."

A hypothetical case on a topic currently debated within the Inter-American system serves as the basis of the competition. This year’s case, written by Santiago Cantón, executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and Daniela Salazar, a staff attorney at the same institution, focuses on migration issues. The case involves topics such as the legality of detention, the right to a defense, the rights of the child, the prohibition of arbitrary state infringement in private life, and discrimination, among others.

Distinguished judges for the final round of the competition on Friday morning, May 22 include:

  • Arturo Carrillo, professor, George Washington University School of Law
  • Sergio Garcia Ramirez, judge and former president, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
  • Claudio Grossman, dean, American University Washington College of Law and chair, United Nations Committee against Torture
  • Claudia Martin, co-director, Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Pablo Saavedra, executive secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
  • Daniela Salazar, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
  • Adolfo Sanchez Alegre, president, Competition Participant Association

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have agreed to alternate the prizes for the first and second place teams. This year, the two members of the first place team will be awarded internships at the Commission in Washington, D.C., and second place team participants will receive internships at the Court in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Since its inception in 1995, the yearly competition has trained more than 2000 students and faculty participants from more than 170 universities throughout the Americas and beyond. For more information on the Competition, please visit the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law website

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