Elizabeth Abi-Mershed 2023 Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition

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THEME 2023


The Competition is a unique trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) event established to train law students on how to use the Inter-American human rights legal system as a legitimate forum for redressing human rights violations. Since its inception in 1995, it has trained over 4900 students and faculty participants from over 365 universities from the Americas and beyond. Written on a cutting-edge topic currently debated within the Inter-American system, the hypothetical case operates as the basis of the competition, and students argue the merits of this case by writing legal memoranda and preparing oral arguments for presentation in front of human rights experts acting as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Academy’s Reception: Celebration of Elizabeth Abi-Mershed life  #IAMOOT2023

This year's Moot Court Competition was named in honor of WCL Professor Elizabeth Abi-Mershed. It is our way to honor her life and invaluable contribution to the Inter-American Human Rights System. Before our traditional opening ceremony, we will have an in-memoriam reception titled "Celebration of Elizabeth Abi-Mershed Life" hosted by the Academy of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. The event will be hybrid, allowing the participation of Elizabeth's family, friends, and colleagues regardless of whether they are located.

The reception will occur on May 21, 2023, from 4 to 6 pm at Claudio Grossman Hall, American University Washington College of Law. Pre-registration is required via google forms, so all interested people can come to honor her memory and professional career. Registration Link: https://bit.ly/3MoyU46

Apart from being a JD alumnus of WCL, Elizabeth was a close friend of the Academy and an active contributor to many of the initiatives throughout the years. She was an integral part of the faculty of the Master (LLM) in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, where she taught the course "International Protection of Human Rights: Application and Challenges at the Regional and UN Levels." Elizabeth was also faculty in the Summer Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, where she taught the course "Women and International Human Rights Law." She also participated as a judge in the Human Rights Essay Competition and was a panelist and presenter in conferences and events held annually by the Academy. 

Elizabeth also was a committed supporter of the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition. In 2002 and 2003, she was a co-author of a hypothetical (Hypo) case, being the only expert to have authored twice consecutively in the history of the Moot Court. She participated as a judge on multiple occasions, including the final round honor panel in May 2003 and 2015. Her dedication to educating new generations of lawyers in international human rights law was uncompromising.

Beyond her academic life, Elizabeth made significant contributions to protecting and promoting human rights in the Americas. She was Deputy Executive Secretary for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC. As an attorney at the IACHR Secretariat, she analyzed incoming petitions, managed a docket of pending cases, drafted case reports, coordinated on-site visits and drafted corresponding country reports, and participated in the litigation of cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Her work in the OAS also included providing technical support to the IACHR's rapporteurs on women's rights and participating in initiatives concerning standard-setting and implementing human rights law.