Two teams of students from the UCLA School of Law's International and Comparative Law Program participated in the 2017 Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition, in which students play the roles of lawyers, negotiators and government officials addressing a simulated armed conflict.
The fourth annual competition, which gives students the opportunity to work with experienced practitioners, national security experts and leading academics, was held in March 2017 at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
A UCLA team consisting of Kiana Banafshe LL.M. '17, Taylor Markey '17, and Ayan Sharma LL.M. '17, reached the semi-finals of the event. A team including Paulina Gonzales LL.M. '17, Patrick Hulme '17, and Nobu Zulu LL.M. '17 also took part in the competition, which drew 12teams from law schools and military academies in the United States and Canada.
Both UCLA Law teams were advised by Jessica Peake, director of the International and Comparative Law Program at UCLA Law.
Teams were required to address simulated crisis scenarios based on real-world events involving armed conflict and human rights challenges. The scenarios evolve as the competition takes place, and students must play varied roles including those of legal representatives in an international criminal court; negotiators in situations as grave as the lethal targeting of a civilian; Red Cross legal advisors guiding insurgent leaders on proper treatment of detainees; and government officials defending their positions on the legality of use-of-force decisions.
A team from the University of Minnesota won the 2017 competition.
The competition, named for the founder of the American Red Cross, was supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross, the American Red Cross, and Georgetown University Law Center.