Rules and Regulations

The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law is proud to request the submission of papers for the Human Rights Essay Award. Recipients will be chosen according to the following regulations:

1. Candidates for the Award must hold a law degree and have a demonstrated experience or interest in international human rights law.

2. Past Winners cannot submit essays in future competitions.

3. To apply for the Human Rights Essay Award, candidates must choose a subject pertaining to the topic chosen by the Academy for the year. Participants will have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the substantive law relevant to the field. International human rights law can be understood to include international humanitarian law and international criminal law. The paper must be within the scope of the topic or it will be disqualified.

4. A Candidate for the Award must submit an unpublished legal article/paper in English or Spanish written solely by that candidate.

5. Only one submission will be accepted per applicant in either language. If more than one article is received, it will be left up to the applicant to decide which article to officially submit. Should the applicant not indicate a preference, the first article received by the Academy will be the one considered for the competition.

6. The papers must not exceed 35 pages in length, including footnotes. Essays must use Times New Roman font, 12-point double-spaced for the body of the essay and 10-point single-spaced for footnotes. Character spacing must be set to normal. All essays must be on letter size paper (8.5 x 11 inches/21.59 x 27.94 cm) with 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins all around. Any essay that does not follow the guidelines will be reformatted and 5 points will be taken off. If the essay is longer than 35 pages, it will be automatically disqualified. The essay has to be a legal article that contains extensive research and legal analysis; therefore, it will include substantial foot pages and citations. The absence of those will cause that the essay will be disqualified.

7. The acceptable format to cite sources is in single-spaced footnotes. If you have questions on the proper usage of footnotes, please consult the "The Uniform System of Citation: The Bluebook."

8. Authors should not put their name or any identifying information in their essays.

9. Essays will only be accepted in Word Format

10. In addition, each participant must also include a curriculum vitae of no more than three pages in length explaining the experience or interest of the author in human rights issues. Please submit the CV as a separate file from your paper.

11. Any appended materials other than a CV will not be accepted. Do not include a bibliography, a list of websites, or any other extra materials. These will be immediately discarded and not considered.

12. Essays must be submitted using the online submission form. No emailed entries will be accepted.

13. The Academy will confirm via e-mail the receipt of all articles submitted. If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 business hours of sending a submission, please contact us to ensure that we received it.

14. Articles must be received by the Academy by January 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST. Articles received after the deadline will not be accepted.

15. The Jury that will select the winner of the Award is comprised of professionals with a recognized expertise in international human rights law.  The names of the Honor Jury will be announced on our website.

16. There will be a pre-selection committee that will review all of the accepted articles and select the final three that will be considered by the Honor Jury.

17. The Honor Jury decision will be announced on April 1st, 2022 through the Academy's web site. The winners will also be notified immediately in order to make the necessary arrangements to travel to Washington D.C. The decision of the Honor Jury will be final and will admit no appeal.

18. The Academy will grant two awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:

  • A scholarship* to cover tuition for the Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance options

  • Travel expenses* to attend the program in Washington D.C.

  • Living expenses* for the three-week program. Winners will be provided housing at one of American University's residence halls, as well as a stipend to cover meals and incidentals. If the winners choose not to stay in the residence halls, they can make their own arrangements and will be reimbursed for the amount equivalent to three weeks of housing on-campus.

*Subject to restrictions. Winners are responsible for any additional expenses incurred during the Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

19. The articles submitted for the Award may undergo a thorough review for plagiarism and may be disqualified if any evidence of plagiarism is found.

20. Authors should keep copies of all of their source materials; this means having photocopies of all of the pages used from a particular source.

21. The Academy reserves the right to give the Award to none of the applicants in the event that the submitted articles presented do not meet, in the opinion of the Jury, the minimum requirements.

22. The presentation of the Award will take place during the closing ceremony of the Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

23. The articles presented will be the property of American University Washington College of Law, Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. The Academy will reserve the right to publish them in a written or electronic format and to disseminate them as judged appropriate. In the event the article is not published within a reasonable time, it will be returned to the author, upon request.

24. The best papers may be published in the proceedings of the Academy and/or in other media that the Academy may deem appropriate.

25. In the event a situation arises that is not included herein, the Academy will resolve it at its own discretion and will inform the participants thereof.

26. Application for the Award presupposes acceptance of the terms described herein.

You may contact us with questions at