2021 Davis Wright Tremaine International Law Writing Competition Winners Announced
Established through the generosity of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, the International Law Writing Award program provides a $2,500 stipend for the best research paper written in the past year by a Lewis & Clark JD student on any topic in private or public international law, and a $1,000 stipend for the second best paper.
The International Law Committee has announced the winners of the 2021 Davis Wright Tremaine LLP International Law Writing Awards. Established through the generosity of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, the award program provides a $2,500 stipend for the best research paper written in the past year by a Lewis & Clark JD student on any topic in private or public international law, and a $1,000 stipend for the second best paper.
This year’s winners are:
First Place: John Mayer ’21, South Africa’s Reformed Investment Regime as a Model for Developing Countries
Second Place: Lizzy Pennock ’21, Human Rights on the High Seas: An Analysis of Various Pathways to Establishing Adequate Labor Standards in the International Fishing Industry.
John’s paper examines South Africa’s recent decision to replace its investment treaties with an alternative domestic framework, in order to give the state more leeway to adopt measures benefitting historically-disadvantaged South Africans. The paper analyzes whether that decision has so far had a significant adverse impact on investment flows, concluding that it has not. It also considers to what extent other developing countries can use the approach taken by South Africa as a model, arguing that South Africa’s experience is particularly apposite when a country possesses certain specific characteristics.
Lizzy’s paper explores existing legal authority governing labor standards in the international fishing industry, identifies a number of loopholes that leave room for egregious abuses, and outlines potential solutions. It argues for a multi-faceted approach, including comprehensive action by national governments to regulate and enforce labor standards, increased retailer accountability, consumer action, and investigative activism that enhances public awareness.
Professor George Foster, a member of the competition’s review committee, praised both papers. “John’s paper is noteworthy for its sophisticated and nuanced thesis. He was careful to consider a number of alternative explanations for recent fluctuations in South Africa’s investment flows, as well as to take into account factors that South Africa shares with other developing countries, as well as those that set it apart. Lizzy’s paper was also excellent. It was not only extensively researched, thoughtful, and convincing, but also beautifully written and an engaging read: not an easy accomplishment for a paper dealing with as bleak a topic as labor abuses at sea.”
Lewis & Clark Law is grateful to Davis Wright Tremaine for the firm’s ongoing support for this writing competition.
Congratulations to both winners.