California Arbitration’s 2024 Writing Competition and Award

“Arbitration’s Impact on the Environment and Human Rights”

CalArb is pleased to invite submissions for its second annual Writing Competition and Award.  This competition seeks to provide an opportunity to law students and young practitioners to research and address important issues, and to recognize and reward the most exceptional written contribution.

  • Eligible Participants:  CalArb’s writing competition is open to all law students and to all lawyers who have practiced for less than 10 years.
  • Topic:  Submissions should focus on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment’s report on what the report characterizes as “the catastrophic consequences of investor-State dispute settlement for climate and environment action and human rights.” See UN Doc. A/78/168, 13 July 2023.  In particular, the Special Rapporteur argues that foreign investors use investor-State dispute settlement “to seek exorbitant compensation from States that strengthen environmental protection,” resulting in a “regulatory chill”—and the Special Rapporteur calls for “specific actions that States must take” in response.  Each submission should address whether the Special Rapporteur’s concerns about investor-State arbitration are (or are not) substantiated, and whether and how international arbitration can facilitate (and not impede) action to address environmental and human rights concerns. The winning submission will be the one that CalArb views as engaging with the issued raised by the Special Rapporteur in the most original and sophisticated manner (regardless of whether the writer agrees or disagrees with the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions).
  • Guidelines:  Submissions must be the participant’s original work, written in English, and must be between 15-20 pages, including footnotes, with standard margins, minimum 12 point font, and 1.5 line spacing.
  • Deadline:  Submissions must be emailed to by August 2, 2024.  In addition to their submission, participants are encouraged to provide a current résumé and a headshot for publication.
  • Award:  CalArb will announce the winner of the writing competition by August 30, 2024.  The winner will receive a cash award of $1,500, and CalArb will publish the winning submission on its website and circulate it to all CalArb members.
  • Free CalArb Membership:  All eligible participants who submit a qualifying submission will receive one year of free membership to CalArb for participating in the competition.
  • Determining the Winner:  CalArb will determine the winner of the writing competition on an objective and non-discriminatory basis through a blind judging process.
  • Participant Representations and Consent to Publication:  By entering the writing competition, each participant consents to publication of their submission, their résumé, and their headshot on CalArb’s website.  Each participant represents that they alone created their submission; that they own all rights in their submission, including the copyright and all intellectual property rights as well as the right to consent to its publication; and that their submission does not infringe any third party’s copyrights or intellectual property rights and does not improperly include any third party’s proprietary information. Participants may not use artificial intelligence (AI) to generate their submission, in any way.  Any material violation of the above rules or failure to comply with the spirt of the competition will result in the forfeiture and return of the cash award and the free CalArb membership.