June 04, 2024

2024 Davis Wright Tremaine International Law Writing Competition Winners Announced

The International Law Writing Award, funded by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, grants $2,500 and $1,000 stipends for the best and second-best international law research paper written by a Lewis & Clark JD student. This year, Kelsey Chapman-Sutton is the first-place winner and Beth Sethi is the second-place recipient.

The International Law Committee has announced Kelsey Chapman-Sutton ’24 and Beth Sethi ’24 as its 2024 Davis Wright Tremaine International Law Writing Award winners for their papers in international law. The award, established through the generosity of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, provides $2,500 and $1,000 stipends for the best and second-best written international law research papers.

Chapman-Sutton’s paper, entitled Four Boys Buried in July: Law and Rhetoric of Violence in the Lead Up to the 2014 Gaza War, explores the complicated sociopolitical landscape of Israel-Palestine preceding the 2014 Gaza War. Her paper expertly traverses topics of violence and retaliation in the region in connection with international humanitarian and human rights law. Her paper urges for a critical examination of Israel-Palestine, its history, and the cultural narratives that influence our global understanding of the conflict and the implementation of international law. “We do a disservice to narrative, to law, and to human rights when we approach them without nuance,” Chapman-Sutton writes in her paper. “We inflict an injustice on the Israeli people and the Palestinian people when we take from them their history, their complexity, and their humanity.”

Sethi’s paper, entitled When the Last Resort is the Best Resort: Successful Convention Against Torture (CAT) Claims in 9th Circuit Removal Cases, examines legal strategies under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) to provide relief to non-citizens denied asylum in the United States. Scoping the advantages of this alternate pathway for relief from deportation through its history of success, Sethi deftly outlines opportunities for legal practitioners to present CAT claims in the 9th Circuit. Writes Sethi in her paper, “For noncitizens ineligible for or denied asylum or other removal relief, a successful CAT claim can be the difference between remaining safely in the United States and being returned to a dangerous situation in their home country.”

Both papers were completed under the supervision of Professor Kathleen Maloney, who Chapman-Sutton and Sethi thank for her generous and insightful guidance.