WCRO Moot Courts

Every year, the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) seeks 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.

The application process for the 2018-2019 competition has closed. Please refer back to this page in the summer of 2019 for information on the 2019-2020 application.

Students with experience in international humanitarian or criminal law are particularly encouraged to apply. For the 2018-2019 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 Obernai, France. 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 2018 Competition

Katherine Holcombe, Emma Marion, and Carly Nuttal represented the Washington College of Law at the 2018 Jean-Pictet competition in Ohrid, North Macedonia and placed second at the Clara Baron competition in Washington, DC.

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

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 2018 Competition

Ali Boyd, Medea Jones, and Max Olarsch represented the Washington College of Law at the 2018 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.