Our History

The War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) is seeking  students (2L, 3L, or LL.M.) to represent the Washington College of Law  in international criminal law and humanitarian law (IHL) competitions: the Jean-Pictet and Clara Barton IHL Competitions and the International Criminal Court Moot.

Video of our fall 2017 information session on the competitions, in which WCRO staff and competition alumni talked about the experience and took questions, is available here.

Students with experience in international humanitarian or criminal law are particularly encouraged to apply. For the 2017-2018 competition, interested applicants should send us their names, year, resume, transcript (unofficial is fine), a description of any experience with international criminal/humanitarian law, and a short response (800 words maximum) to the following prompt and questions:

Last week, at a school in northeastern Syria, 600 civilians took shelter to sleep in the building fearing ongoing attacks from the Syrian government or the Islamic State in Iraq Syria (ISIS), an extremist Sunni militant group. During the night, warplanes dropped missiles on the school, killing 50 civilians and wounding 100. Thirty rebel soldiers guarding the school were also killed in the attack. It is unclear whether the Syrian government or ISIS were behind the attack.

  1. Does international humanitarian law apply? Why or why not?
  2. If this situation constitutes an armed conflict, what is its character (international or non-international)? Why does this characterization matter?
  3. If IHL does apply, ignoring jurisdictional issues, have any violations potentially occurred that constitute a crime at the International Criminal Court? If so, what violations?

Unlike a traditional moot court competition, the Jean-Pictet Competition consists of a week-long series of simulated diplomatic negotiations and other exercises focused on IHL and other areas of public international law. The competition provides an excellent opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the study and practice these areas of the law, and to hone skills vital to the field of international law, including negotiation, lobbying and advocacy.

The competition is held in a different city each year over one week, and two concurrent competitions are held, one in English and one in French. One winning team from each group is selected to participate in the final round of the competition. This year's competition will be held in Ohrid, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Selection for participation in the Jean-Pictet Competition is conducted not only by the WCRO but also by the organizers of the competition. Per Jean-Pictet rules, “In order to avoid any inequality between teams that may arise from the participation of extremely qualified or experienced participants, the [Concours Jean-Pictet] may decide not to accept the participation of students over the age of thirty who have strong experience in law or in the field of humanitarian action.” Additionally, any person who has previously attended the competition is also ineligible. For more information about the competition, please visit www.concourspictet.org.

The Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition is an experiential learning competition similar to the Jean-Pictet Competition that is sponsored by the American Red Cross to introduce future attorneys to the practical challenges encountered by those who practice IHL during armed conflict. The Competition involves multiple rounds of hypothetical case studies in which team members take on a variety of professional roles and field assignments. Knowledge of IHL and international public law will be tested in this competition, in addition to the ability to present, advocate, and defend legal positions to various parties throughout the simulations. 2L, 3L, and LL.M students are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://www.redcross.org/rulesofwar/clarabarton-international-humanitarian-law-competition.

In past years, the WCL has been represented by the following teams:

The 2017 Competition
Victoria Garcia, Cynthia Park, and Laura Texeira represented the Washington College of Law at the 2017 Jean-Pictet competition in the Republic of Georgia and the Clara Barton Competition in Washington, DC.

The 2016 Competition
Austin Shangraw, Tara Vassefi, and Megan Watson represented the Washington College of Law at the 2016 Clara Barton competition in Seattle, Washington.

The 2015 Competition
Rashad Abelson, Merve Stolzman, and Emelie Kozak represented the Washington College of Law at the 2015 Jean Pictet competition in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Clara Barton Competition in Chicago, Illinois.

The 2014 Competition
Manuela Londoño, Chelsea Zimmerman, and William Xu represented the Washington College of Law at the 2014 Jean-Pictet competition in Sintra, Portugal and the Clara Barton competition in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The 2013 Competition
Christine Mitchell, Christopher Tansey, and Megan Wakefield represented the Washington College of Law at the 2013 Jean-Pictet competition in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

The 2012 Competition
Federico Barillas, Shubra Ohri, and Jeremy Kelley represented the Washington College of Law at the 2012 Jean-Pictet competition in Winterton, South Africa.

The 2011 Competition
Megan Chapman, Tracey Begley, and Elinor Stevenson represented the Washington College of Law at the 2011 Jean-Pictet competition in Najac, France.

The 2010 Competition
Kay Marshall, Jenny Norako, and Kavita Kapur represented the Washington College of Law at the 2010 Jean-Pictet competition in Orford, Canada.

The 2008 Competition
Peter Chapman, Abdul Omar, and Nicholas Leddy represented Washington College of Law at the 2008 Jean-Pictet competition in Schwarzenburg, Switzerland.

The 2007 Competition
The 2007 Jean-Pictet competition was held in El Escorial, Spain, from April 14-21. Erin Louise Palmer, Robert Tanenbaum, and Ryan Vogel represented Washington College of Law.

The 2006 Competition
The 2006 Jean-Pictet com petition was held in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia and Montenegro, from March 4-11. WCL students Katharine Brown, Christian De Vos, and Elizabeth “Ellee” Walker represented Washington College of Law. The team distinguished themselves, advancing to the semi-finals of the
competition.

The 2005 Competition
The 2005 Jean-Pictet com petition took place in Collonges-la-Rouge, France, from April 2-9. Jennifer Dorn, J.P. Henderson, and Kristen McGeeney represented Washington College of Law at the competition.

The ICC Moot Court Competition is a moot court competition held at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, NY, based on a hypothetical criminal trial argued before the International Criminal Court. Unique to this competition is the fact that each team has the opportunity to write a brief and argue their case from one of three different perspectives: that of the Prosecutor, Defense Counsel and either a Victim or State Representative. Each team will then participate in three rounds of oral arguments with the opportunity of arguing from all three perspectives. The highest scored teams will advance to the finals in The Hague to compete against qualifying teams from other areas of the world. Pursuant to the rules this competition, "Student with any professional legal experience, which includes qualification as a lawyer, but excludes legal internships, are not eligible to the enter the Competition. Students aged 32 or older at the time of the Competition are not eligible to participate. For more information about the competition, please visit http://www.law.pace.edu/international-criminal-court-icc-moot-competition.

The 2017 Competition
Amélie Beauchemin, Sarah June Benjamin, and Emma Brandon represented the Washington College of Law at the 2017 competition.

The 2016 Competition

Sam Varnes, Amy Yoon, and Sara Kohgadai represented the Washington College of Law at the 2016 competition.

The 2015 Competition
Trevor Maxwell, Asma Kadri, and Christopher Keeler represented the Washington College of Law at the 2015 competition. The team placed first in the Regional Round for the Americas and Caribbean, where Christopher Keeler placed first for best oralist in the final round, third for best oralist overall, and second for best prosecution brief. The team went on to compete in the international round in The Hague.

The 2014 Competition
Vy Nguyen, Carter Parét, and Meolodie Arian represented the Washington College of Law at the 2014 competition.

The 2013 Competition
Naida Henao, Bethanie Haynes, and Michelle Flash represented the Washington College of Law at the 2013 competition, going on to compete in the international round in The Hague.

The 2012 Competition
The 2012 competition took place from February 10-12. WCL students Molly Hofsommer, Ivan Carpio, and Anna Taylor represented the Washington College of Law. Molly Hofsommer was awarded Third-Place Runner-Up for the Government Counsel Memorial.

The 2011 Competition
The 2011 competition took place from January 28-30. WCL students Justin Shore, Aileen Thomson, and Zsofia Young represented the Washington College of Law. Aileen Thomson was awarded 2nd Best Prosecution Memorial and the team reached the semi-finals.

The 2010 Competition
The 2010 competition took place from January 29-31. WCL students Megan Haskins, Safina Lakhani, and Tanvi Zaveri represented the Washington College of Law. The team was awarded second place for Best Victims' Participation Memorial.

The 2009 Competition
The 2009 competition was held from February 16-20. WCL students Jennifer Norako, Eric Leveridge and Kavita Kapur represented the Washington College of Law. Jennifer Norako placed third for Best Defense Memorial, and Kavita Kapur received third place for Best Prosecution Memorial.
 

Check out our exciting Upcoming Events

September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Free Yoga with the Washington Yoga Center! September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N102 Orange is the New Black: Race, Class, Sexuality, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Culture September 26 12:00PM-1:30PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group September 27 12:00PM-1:00PM NT07 BARBRI Bar Talk September 27 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class September 27 5:30PM-7:30PM Viacom,1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 Fall New York Alumni Reception September 28 5:00PM-7:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term September 28 5:30PM-8:00PM Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center,901 K St NW Alumni and Students Intellectual Property Networking Reception September 29 12:00PM-2:00PM Capital Building - C217 Language Volunteer Training October 02 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 03 9:00AM-2:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Red Cross Blood Drive October 03 12:00PM-1:30PM Washington College of Law Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization October 03 6:00PM-9:00PM Rio de Janeiro, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair Rio de Janeiro October 04 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 04 6:00PM-9:00PM Brasilia, Brazil Education USA LLM Fair - Brasilia October 05 5:30PM-7:30PM 601 Massachusetts Ave, N, Washington, DC Twelfth Annual International Commercial Arbitration Lecture October 06 6:00PM-9:00PM WCL Alumni Reception for Professor Robert Vaughn October 07 10:00AM-1:00PM Sao Paulo, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair - Sao Paulo October 09 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 09 6:00PM-9:00PM Buenos Aires, Argentina EducationUSA LLM Fair - Buenos Aires October 10 12:30PM-4:00PM Warren Building - NT01 Sexual Assault: Legal Responses and Institutional Realities October 10 5:00PM-6:30PM Claudio Grossman Hall Criminal Law Externship Mini Fair October 11 11:30AM-1:30PM Washington College of Law International Law Abroad Table Talks October 11 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 11 5:00PM-6:00PM Warren Building - NT02 Information Session: Veteran's Pro Bono Legal Clinic October 11 6:00PM-9:00PM Santiago, Chile EducationUSA LLM Fair - Santiago October 12 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N104 Pro- Bono Information Session: Washington Lawyers' Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic October 12 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - Y401 Transatlantic Consumer Protection: The Case of Medical Devices October 12 5:00PM-7:00PM Washington College of Law Gender and Family Law Resume Review Session October 12 6:00PM-9:00PM Lima, Peru EducationUSA LLM Fair - Lima October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT16 Equal Justice Works Career Fair Prep Session October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 16 6:00PM-9:00PM Education USA LLM Fair - Bogota October 17 8:30AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 XIII Symposium on International Trade October 17 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N104 Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless- Volunteer Outreach Training October 17 4:00PM-4:50PM Yuma Building - Y112 Martial Arts for Stress Relief with Professor Macarena Saez October 18 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 18 5:00PM-6:30PM Claudio Grossman Hall Immigration, Employment, Family, Gender and Education Law Mini Externship Fair October 20 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 20 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Fall Sports Law Symposium October 21 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 24 12:00PM-1:15PM Claudio Grossman Hall 1L Externship Orientation Session: Sections 3 & 4 October 25 12:00PM-1:15PM Claudio Grossman Hall 1L Externship Orientation: Sections 1 & 2 October 25 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 26 12:30PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform 2017 October 26 6:15PM-7:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Sixth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property with Professor Rebecca Tushnet October 26 6:15PM-8:15PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 26 8:00PM-9:00PM Y-401 1L Externship Orientation: Section 5 October 27 8:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform October 27 8:45AM-3:30PM Warren Building - NT08 Unlocking the Promise of Antitrust Enforcement October 30 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 31 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation with David Rubenstein November 01 12:00PM-1:30PM Capital Building - Commons Gender and Law Course Advising November 01 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 03 8:00AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law 2017 National SJD Roundtable November 06 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 07 12:00PM-12:50PM Washington College of Law Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor Trafficking Panel November 07 4:00PM-4:50PM Yuma Building - Y112 Martial Arts for Stress Relief with Professor Macarena Saez November 08 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 10 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Anatomy of Justice: An Honest Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in 2017 November 13 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 14 4:00PM-4:50PM Yuma Building - Y112 Martial Arts for Stress Relief with Professor Macarena Saez November 15 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - Y116 Semester Abroad and International Dual Degree Information Session November 22 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class
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