The “DL Essay Contest” is Now Open!

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014





The IDL Project is pleased to announce the launch of the “First Annual International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest”. The Contest is co-sponsored by the International Federation of the Red Cross, the IDL Project itself, the American Society of International Law Disaster Law Interest Group, with the support of the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law.

The purpose of the Contest is to promote creative thinking and analysis about disasters in under-graduate and graduate students, both from an international and comparative perspectives.

The Contest rules are the following:

  1. The contest is open only to students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at any university (anywhere in the world) at the time of submission;
  2. Essays may examine any issue related to law and disasters due to natural hazards, but must do so either from a comparative or an international law perspective, or both. Comparative essays should examine laws or legal issues from no less than three countries;
  3. Papers must be written solely by the candidate(s), in English, and may not have been submitted for publication elsewhere;
  4. Submissions may range from 5,000 to 10,000 words, including footnotes;
  5. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. Central European Time, 30 January 2015;
  6. The top prize will include fully sponsored participation in the week-long annual disaster law course in beautiful Sanremo, Italy in April 2015, co-organized by the IDL Project and the IFRC;
  7. Essays should be submitted to as Microsoft Word attachments. In the subject line, please state “Submission: International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest”. Questions may be directed to the same email address.

Though participants are free to choose any topic related to law and disasters, the following list provides few potential themes as a way of illustration:

  • What impact do existing disaster law treaties have on domestic disaster management?
  • Can mandatory insurance rules reduce disaster risks in developing countries?
  • Is there a customary duty to seek international assistance when local resources are overcome by a disaster?
  • How can legislation improve post-disaster economic recovery?
  • Should the rules for humanitarian assistance be different in conflicts and disasters?
  • What is the role of domestic courts in improving the safety and resilience of communities?
  • What are the pros and cons of a rights-based approach to disaster response?
  • What are the prospects for a comprehensive global treaty on international disaster assistance?
  • Should there be a global system of certifying humanitarian NGOs?
  • Why aren’t land use rules and building codes preventing more deaths and losses?
  • What special protections do indigenous peoples require with respect to disasters?
  • How do derogations and limitations to human rights in disasters affect outcomes for affected persons?
  • What is the right balance between sovereignty and protection when it comes to international disaster response?
  • What are the most reasonable and successful governmental approaches to post-disaster compensation to affected persons?
  • How can we reduce legal barriers to speedy and equitable housing solutions after disasters?

Further Contest rules can be accessed here.

The Contest flyer can be accessed here.