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Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition

The Clara Barton Competition is an experiential learning competition designed to introduce future attorneys to real-world challenges facing IHL practitioners during armed conflict.

The American Red Cross is excited to announce the creation of the 1st Annual Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition. Named after the founder of the American Red Cross, this event is a simulation-based moot court competition for students interested in international humanitarian law (IHL), also known as the “law of war” or “law of armed conflict.” Designed to introduce students to real-world challenges experienced in the field during armed conflict, the Competition places participating teams in the shoes of humanitarian law practitioners and tasks competitors with addressing complex legal issues in a number of unique fictional, but realistic, situations. As the only competition of its kind offered within the United States, this experience provides students with a phenomenal opportunity to enhance their understanding of international humanitarian law through practical, experiential exercises. The Comp etition will be held in the Greater Washington, D.C. area from March 12-15, 2014.

Modeled on the world renowned Concurs Jean-Pictet competition, each round of the Clara Barton Competition will present a new case study building upon a larger hypothetical armed conflict. During each round, teams will be asked to assume various professional roles and accomplish a variety of objectives consistent with the positions of the organizations, groups, or entities that they represent. The competition will test participants’ knowledge of international humanitarian law and international public law, as well as their ability to present, advocate, and defend legal positions with a diverse range of stakeholders in different simulated environments.

The Competition is open to current law students pursuing Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Master of Law (LL.M.) degrees at U.S. law schools, as well as students attending U.S. military academies. Teams are composed of three students, and only one team may represent each eligible academic institution. Prior study in public international law, although not required, is highly recommended. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the American Red Cross will cover hotel accommodations and meals for participating teams during the Competition. Travel expenses to and from the Competition are not included.

Registration for the Competition is officially open! To apply, interested teams must: 1) complete a standard application form; 2) provide a statement of interest; and 3) complete a formal legal memorandum based on an initial hypothetical problem. A $100 non-refundable application fee will also be required upon submitting the application. Applications and statements of interest are due no later than 10:00pm EST on November 29, 2013. Formal legal memorandums must be submitted no later than 10:00pm EST on December 13, 2013. All required Competition materials and further information may be found on the Competition website at