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Essay Competition: Sanremo New Voices in International Humanitarian Law

On the occasion of the 42nd Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross are pleased to announce the second ‘Sanremo New Voices in International Humanitarian Law’ essay competition.

The winner will be invited to present at the Round Table in Sanremo (Italy) on 4-6 September 2019 and to publish their essay in the proceedings.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, the 2019 Round Table topic will be Wither the human in armed conflict? IHL implications of new technology in warfare. Expert discussions will focus primarily on the impact that new technologies have on warfare and how international humanitarian law responds to technological developments. The International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the ICRC invite submissions addressing a subject under one of the following topics:

  • IHL and the challenges related to cyber warfare

  • Artificial intelligence in warfare

Eligibility of submissions In order to be eligible for consideration by the organisers, essays must be

  • Written by one person, in English or French, and no longer than 2500 words (including footnotes);

  • Submitted by a person who is either 35 years old or younger, or is enrolled in a PhD programme (provided that the person is no more than 38);

  • Submitted by a person who is not a staff member of the ICRC or of the IIHL (interns/ associates are eligible);

  • Fall under one of two broad topics:

– IHL and the challenges related to cyber warfare; or – Artificial intelligence in warfare

  • Received by the organisers by 7 June 2019 (midnight, CET).

Submission procedure

  • All essays must be submitted, in PDF format, to and to (Subject: ‘Submission for the 2019 Sanremo New Voices essay competition). Questions may be directed to the same email addresses.

  • Please make sure that the essay does not contain the author’s name in order to facilitate anonymous review. However, be sure to include the essay title.

  • Please include the following information in the cover email: Full name of the author; full address and email address; phone number; date of birth; affiliation/occupation; title of the essay; a sentence stating that the author is the sole author of the essay and that the essay meets all eligibility criteria.

  • By submitting an essay, candidates confirm that they fulfil the eligibility requirements of the competition. The organisers may request formal proof of eligibility.

  • The organisers will acknowledge receipt of all essays.

Selection procedure

  • The organisers will review the essays and select a winner based on the substantive quality of the essay, along with its relevance to the above-proposed topics. The persons reviewing the essays will not know the identity of the author.

  • The winner will be

– Invited to present the essay as part of a panel during the 42nd Sanremo Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law, which will take place on 4-6 September 2019 in Sanremo, Italy. – The co-organisers fund travel costs and accommodation for the winner.

  • Once a winner is selected, all participants will be notified.


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