First Annual IHL Student Writing Competition

In Fall 2010, 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 First International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition. 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. In its inaugural year, the Competition received an incredible response, with 50 submissions from 17 countries around the world.

On March 23, 2011, 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 2011 Competition winners—Robert Clarke from the University of Western Australia, and Elizabeth Holland from Suffolk University Law School—presented their papers at the Conference in discussion with a panel of distinguished IHL experts, followed by a luncheon keynote address by David Crane, Professor of Law at Syracuse University Law School and founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Conference concluded with an afternoon roundtable discussion among academics and practitioners who addressed the cutting-edge intersections of IHL and human rights.

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

To view a webcast of the confernece, visit the Center's media gallery.

A Special Thank You to Our 2011 Honor Jury and Judges

We would also like to thank the panel of ten distinguished judges who served as the 2011 Honor Jury, as well as the esteemed group of experts who served as judges for the first round of evaluating submissions for the competition. Their expertise and commitment to enhancing scholarship in IHL helped make this competition a success in its inaugural year.


  • Antoine Bouvier, Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Dr. Stephanie Carvin, Lecturer in International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Prof. David Crane, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University College of Law
  • Col. Mo Davis, Executive Director and Counsel, Crimes of War Education Project
  • Prof. Eugene Fidell, President, National Institute of Military Justice
  • Dean Claudio Grossman, American University Washington College of Law
  • Prof. Francoise Hampson, Professor, University of Essex School of Law
  • Gabor Rona, International Legal Director, Human Rights First
  • David Tolbert, President, International Center for Transitional Justice
  • Jamie Williamson, Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross


  • Prof. Caroline Davidson, Assistant Professor of Law, Willamette University
  • Prof. Laurie Blank, Director, International Humanitarian Law Clinic, Emory University
  • Prof. Mike Surgalla, Department of Justice
  • Prof. Beth van Schaack, Associate Professor, Santa Clara Law
  • Prof. Eric Jensen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Fordham University
  • Prof. Ashley Deeks, Academic Fellow, Columbia University
  • Lucy Brown, Senior Advisor, International Humanitarian Law & Policy, American Red Cross
  • Isabelle Daoust, Manager, International Humanitarian Law Dissemination, American Red Cross
  • Prof. Michelle McCluer, Director, National Institute for Military Justice, Adjunct Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Laura Olson, Department of Justice
  • Kurt Larson, Department of Justice
  • Prof. Kate Jastram, Senior Fellow, Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, Lecturer in Residence, University of California Berkeley School of Law
  • Matias Hernandez, Assistant Director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Prof. Geoff Corn, Associate Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law
  • Jonathan Tracy, Assistant Director, National Institute of Military Justice
  • Dr. Gentian Zyberi, Independent Researcher
  • Dr. Melanie O’Brien, Research Fellow, Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security, Griffith University
  • Major John Dehn (Ret.), Assistant Professor, U.S. Military Academy
  • Michael Meier, U.S. Department of State
  • Prof. Stefan Kirchner, Chair for Public Law, Georg-August University
  • Prof. Aaron Fellmeth, Professor of Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law