Law School Team Wins International Humanitarian Law Competition For Second Straight Year

March 20, 2017

A team of Law School students won the 2017 Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Competition, which is conducted by the American Red Cross. Students Peter Grenzow, Brendan Delany, and Amanda McAllister, all 3Ls, traveled to Washington, D.C., for the competition.

The Law School team defeated UCLA in the semifinals and the U.S. Air Force Academy in the finals. The semifinal topic centered on the legality of autonomous weapons. In the finals, participants simulated a war crimes trial at the International Criminal Court.

A group of Law School students also took first place in last year’s national competition.

The competition is named after the founder of the American Red Cross, which describes the event as a “simulation-based, experiential legal competition designed to expose rising professionals to the practice of IHL and to real world challenges facing IHL practitioners during armed conflict.”

The team’s advisor, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, was elated by the trio’s performance. “This outstanding team has demonstrated both their own skills and knowledge by winning this national competition and demonstrated the continued strength of the international law and human rights programs at the Law School,” she said.

The team members are an accomplished group. Grenzow was named “best oralist” in the IHL competition; he earned a pair of undergraduate degrees from the University in 2013, majoring in Spanish studies and political science. Last year, Delany won the 2016 Admiral John S. Jenkins Prize for Excellence in Military Studies for his essay “Just Wars with Unjust Allies: Use of Force and Human Rights Considerations on the Russian Intervention in Syria.” And in December, McAllister was awarded a 2016-17 Benjamin B. Ferencz Fellowship in Human Rights and Law.

In a joint statement, Grenzow, Delany, and McAllister thanked the Human Rights Center, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, and Professor Oren Gross “for their pivotal role in our preparation.” Added the team, “Our success at this competition is a direct result of the excellence of our international law program and faculty.”


Left to right: 3Ls Peter Grenzow, Amanda McAllister, and Brendan Delany
Left to right: 3Ls Peter Grenzow, Amanda McAllister, and Brendan Delany

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