Law School Hosts Sixteenth Annual Inter-American Moot Court Competition


WASHINGTON, DC, May 18, 2011 – The Sixteenth Annual Inter-American Moot Court Competition will take place May 22-27 at American University Washington College of Law.  The event is presented by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

This year’s competition promises to be the largest its history, with a record number of 105 teams from 36 different countries and territories, involving more than 300 students, professors, and human rights professionals.  The teams largely represent the Western Hemisphere, but the competition will also welcome teams from Belgium, Cameroon, Germany, Ghana, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Spain, and Switzerland.  

“We are proud offer such a prestigious and important competition that provides a direct way for students around the world to participate in the Inter-American justice system,” says Claudio Grossman, dean of American University Washington College of Law and chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture. “As this unique initiative continues to grow, it fuels the progress of human rights legal education in universities around the world.”

The competition will include 266 attorneys from around the world as judges for the written and oral portions, over 200 of whom are expected to come to campus to judge the oral rounds. The competition will also welcome 100 observers from the Americas and beyond.  In all, the event will host upwards of 600 individuals.  The conference will kick off on Sunday, May 22, with an opening reception and remarks from Claudio Grossman.    

The honor panel will preside over the final round on Friday, May 27, from 9:30-12:30, and will include several representatives from the Inter-American System and human rights community:

  • Dr. Santiago Canton, executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights;
  • Mary Beloff, author of the 2011 hypothetical case and recognized activist in the field of children’s rights and juvenile justice throughout Latin America;
  • Luz Angela Melo, human rights advisor for the Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch at the UN Population Fund
  • Angels Simon, regional program manager; Save the Children, SUECIA, in Peru;
  • Prof. Robert Goldman, Louis C. James Scholar; co-director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law;
  • Prof. Claudia Martin, professorial lecturer in residence and co-director of the Academy on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law;
  • Judge Petter Messitte, US District Court Judge for the District of Maryland;
  • Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Colombia;
  • Daniel Andres Salamanca Perez, president of the Competition Participant Association.

The hypothetical case this year discusses the rights of children, and touches upon such timely issues as human trafficking, sex slavery, and illegal adoption practices. The author of the case was Mary Beloff, a leading figure in juvenile justice in the Western Hemisphere.

The competition is free and open to the public.  Oral rounds will begin Monday morning, and will continue through Thursday afternoon.  A complete schedule is available on the competition’s website at:

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American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school’s nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit