The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Partners with ASIL to Launch the Fourth International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Student Writing Competition

Submissions to Focus on Intersection of IHL with Emerging Technologies

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013 - The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law has partnered with the American Society of International Law’s (ASIL) Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict to announce the fourth International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Student Writing Competition, a unique initiative aimed at enhancing scholarship among students in international humanitarian law while deepening their understanding of the field.

The annual competition seeks submissions of academic papers on IHL from students enrolled in a law degree program in the United States or abroad. Last year, the competition received over 40 submissions from 12 different countries. This year, papers will focus on IHL and its intersection with emerging technologies (i.e., cyber warfare, nanotechnologies, autonomous systems, drones, etc.). The winning authors will receive a one-year ASIL student membership and will have the opportunity to present their papers through a virtual conference with a panel of expert professors and practitioners. The deadline for submission is Feb. 16, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST.

This competition is part of a multi-pronged initiative to expand and support the teaching and study of IHL among students and professors in which both the Center and ASIL have been deeply involved. In 2007, the Center published a study with the International Committee of the Red Cross on “Teaching International Humanitarian Law in U.S. Law Schools.” The study identified a growing need for resources to support and expand the teaching of IHL among law faculty, but also a desire to support the interest of students in learning about IHL. The IHL Student Writing Competition promotes and supports student interest and deepening scholarship in IHL by providing students with a tangible way to become more directly involved in the global discourse around IHL.

Learn more about the Center and the IHL competition.


The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law was established at American University Washington College of Law in 1990 to provide scholarship and support for human rights initiatives in the United States and around the world. The Center works with students, academics and practitioners to enhance the understanding and implementation of human rights and humanitarian law domestically, regionally and internationally. The Center explores emerging intersections in the law and seeks to create new tools and strategies for the creative advancement of international norms. In addition to ongoing work with students, which includes skills development seminars, lunchtime learning sessions, and a robust program of more than 50 conferences and workshops per year, the Center runs grant-funded projects which seek to impact and shape the global conversation around a range of key human rights issues. More information about the Center can be found at