The Human Rights Essay Award is an annual competition sponsored by the Academy that seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic.
The essay must be a legal article. The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:
- A full scholarship to the Program of Advanced Studies on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance options
- Travel expenses to and from Washington D.C.
- Housing at the university dorms
- Per diem for living expenses
- The best articles may also be published in the American University International Law Review
Essay Award Topic for 2020: Rule of Law and Human Rights: Strengthening Democratic Institutions
The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law is proud to request the submission of papers for the Human Rights Essay Award. Candidates for the Award must hold a law degree and have a demonstrated experience or interest in international human rights law.
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The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law is proud to request the submission of papers for the Human Rights Essay Award. Recipients will be chosen according to the following regulations:
1. Candidates for the Award must hold a law degree and have a demonstrated experience or interest in international human rights law.
2. Past Winners cannot submit essays in future competitions.
3. To apply for the Human Rights Essay Award, candidates must choose a subject pertaining to the topic chosen by the Academy for the year. Participants will have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the substantive law relevant to the field. International human rights law can be understood to include international humanitarian law and international criminal law. The paper must be within the scope of the topic or it will be disqualified.
4. A Candidate for the Award must submit an unpublished legal article/paper in English or Spanish written solely by that candidate.
5. Only one submission will be accepted per applicant in either language. If more than one article is received, it will be left up to the applicant to decide which article to officially submit. Should the applicant not indicate a preference, the first article received by the Academy will be the one considered for the competition.
6. The papers must not exceed 35 pages in length, including footnotes. Essays must use Times New Roman font, 12-point double-spaced for the body of the essay and 10-point single-spaced for footnotes. Character spacing must be set to normal. All essays must be on letter size paper (8.5 x 11 inches/21.59 x 27.94 cm) with 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins all around. Any essay that does not follow the guidelines will be reformatted and 5 points will be taken off. If the essay is longer than 35 pages, it will be automatically disqualified. The essay has to be a legal article; therefore, it will include foot pages and citations. The absence of those will cause that the essay will be disqualified.
7. The acceptable format to cite sources is in single-spaced footnotes. If you have questions on the proper usage of footnotes, please consult the “The Uniform System of Citation: The Bluebook.”
8. Authors should not put their name or any identifying information in their essays.
9. Essays will only be accepted in Word Format
10. In addition, each participant must also include a curriculum vitae of no more than three pages in length explaining the experience or interest of the author in human rights issues. Please submit the CV as a separate file from your paper.
11. Any appended materials other than a CV will not be accepted. Do not include a bibliography, a list of websites, or any other extra materials. These will be immediately discarded and not considered.
12. Essays must be submitted using the online submission form. No emailed entries will be accepted.
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The Academy will grant two awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of:
- A scholarship* to cover tuition for the Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for either the Diploma or Certificate of Attendance options
- Travel expenses* to attend the program in Washington D.C.
- Living expenses* for the three-week program. Winners will be provided housing at one of American University’s residence halls, as well as a stipend to cover meals and incidentals. If the winners choose not to stay in the residence halls, they can make their own arrangements and will be reimbursed for the amount equivalent to three weeks housing on-campus.