Brian Douglas Tittemore died at age 40 after a brief but valiant battle with
cancer on December 12, 2006. Although his life was cut short, Brian accomplished more than many who have lived longer. His dedication and commitment to human rights serves as an inspiration to those of us who had the privilege to work with him. In recognition of his laudable professional contributions and unwavering support of the Washington College of Law, The Brian Tittemore Memorial Fund in Human Rights has been established and will be a permanent legacy to an incredibly talented and giving man.
Brian’s personal and professional accomplishments, as well as all the projects he helped to support at WCL, are too extensive to list, so we will name a few of the highlights. He served as an LL.M. Editor of the American University Journal of International Law and Policy, an Articles Editor of the Human Rights Brief and a Dean’s fellow with our Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Based on his superb academic performance, he received in 1995 the Waldemar Solf award as the outstanding LL.M. graduate. Upon graduating, Brian joined WCL’s War Crimes Research Office as its Senior Research Associate where he researched and helped write numerous memoranda for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International War Crimes Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. When his term at the WCRO ended in 1997, Brian returned to the Canadian Department of Justice.
In 1999, Brian became the Inter-American Commission on Human Right’s first Canadian staff attorney. Amidst the demanding schedule of his work at the Commission, he regularly wrote first-rate articles on a variety of international law subjects that were published in books and scholarly journals.
Brian’s Connection to the Academy and the Competition
Additionally, Brian found time to invest in the education of young human rights advocates and defenders. Brian co-taught the course, International Humanitarian Law with Professor Robert Goldman at WCL’s Specialized Summer Program of the Academy on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law every summer from 1999 to 2006. Brian wrote the hypothetical cases for the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 2000 and 2005, which he judged a number of other years. Brian believed the Competition was making a lasting impact in the lives of its student participants and that it was a valuable capacity-building tool for future human rights attorneys, as well as strengthening the Inter-American System.
The Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, hosted by the Academy on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at Washington College of Law, is the only trilingual – English, Spanish, and Portuguese – moot court competition in the world that is based on the Inter-American System of Human Rights. Since the Competition’s inception in 1996, thousands of lawyers have participated in our program as student oralists, coaches, and volunteer judges. Each year, students argue the merits of a hypothetical case from the perspective of the State or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Competition’s impact has reached further than we could have imagined, as it has become a world renowned event. Law schools across the Americas have developed clinics and courses to equip students to practice International Human Rights Law. Moreover, the Competition has ameliorated the capacity of law schools in the region to teach on the Rule of Law and Human Rights.
Purpose of the Fund
Given Brian’s dedication to the advancement of human rights, and his work with the Academy on Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, we feel it is most appropriate to establish the endowment fund in his honor to continue to promote those goals to which he dedicated so much of his life. Each year, the four students who reach the final round of the Competition are traditionally awarded an internship at either the Inter-American Court of Human Rights or the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Many of these internships lead to full-time staff positions, and we are told by senior staff attorneys at both the Commission and Court that some of their best young attorneys are the former winners or runners-up of the Competition. Unfortunately, because the internships are unpaid, a number of students have been unable to take advantage of these internships in the past.
One of the purposes of the Brian Tittemore Memorial Fund will be to provide a stipend to each of the four students who accept an internship at the Court or Commission, allowing them to gain invaluable experience for their future careers in human rights. Yet another goal of the Memorial Fund is to help sponsor teams from law schools in underprivileged areas of the hemisphere where human rights legal training is not readily available. The resources given to this Memorial Fund will be used to increase and geographically spread the lasting impacts of the Competition, and to cover expenses of the Competition in order to ensure its longevity.
We invite you to make a contribution to the Brian Tittemore Memorial Fund in Human Rights. All contributions will be matched by an equal contribution of the law school. Several WCL faculty members have already pledged donations to this Fund, including a substantial lead gift, and a matching gift by the law school has secured the establishment of the endowment fund. You can make your gift on-line at wcl.american.edu/alumni/giving.cfm. If you prefer making your gift by check, we ask that you send it directly to the Office of Annual Giving, Suite C305G, 4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016.
If you are unable to make a financial contribution at this time but would still like to play a part in the work that Brian started, please contact the Competition organizers by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 202-274-4215 to find out about volunteer opportunities.
We hope that you will join us in this fitting tribute to Brian that will continue his legacy of promoting human rights legal education.