The 2017-2018 edition of the Matthieu-Bernard Competition, organized by the Société québécoise de droit international (SQDI), invites undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in law or international studies programmes in Canada to submit an essay on the theme of “The right of return in international law”.
Prize: Publication of the manuscript in a regular issue of the Quebec Journal of International Law (QJIL) (subject to the prior approval of the peer review board), and a $500 scholarship.
Deadline: Saturday, June 30, 2018
Eligibility: Entries to the Matthieu-Bernard Competition may be made by individuals or by teams. The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in law or international studies programmes in Canada. Although open to non-law students, it is important to note that this is a public international law competition and entries will be evaluated from a legal perspective.
On June 23, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly asked the International Court of Justice to render an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the 1965 separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius, prior to the country’s independence in 1968. Amongst other questions, the General Assembly asked the Court to provide an opinion on the consequences of the United Kingdom’s continuing administration of the Chagos Archipelago under international law – including Resolution 1514 (XV) on the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly on December 14, 1960. In particular, the General Assembly underlined the inability of Mauritius to resettle its nationals, including those of Chagossian origin, on the islands.
In this context, the SQDI invites students to submit a manuscript on the topic of the right of return in international law. Subject to format and evaluation criteria, participants have complete freedom concerning the issues, hypotheses, general approach, and theoretical framework they choose to employ. While the background information provided above aims to explain the choice of this year’s theme, it does not constrain the subject matter that may be addressed by the manuscript. Nevertheless, the primary focus must be on the right of return. While related issues may be addressed succinctly, the right of return should remain central.
Format and Evaluation Criteria
- Essays should not exceed 12,000 words in length (excluding footnotes). They may be written in English or French.
- Manuscripts must be submitted in .doc or .docx format (Microsoft Word). Participants are asked to follow the Canadian Reference Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (7th edition) and the QJIL’s Legal Style Guide.
- Manuscripts must be in Times New Roman, 12 pt font or the equivalent. To facilitate reading, line spacing should be 1.5, with normal margins (2.54 cm top/bottom x 3.18 cm left/right).
- No bibliography may be included with the manuscript. All references must be made in footnote form.
- Manuscripts will be evaluated on the basis of the four following criteria: (1) the quality of the analysis and arguments; (2) the quality of the research; (3) the originality of the approach and the relevance of the research results; (4) the quality of the presentation.
Manuscripts must be received before midnight on June 30, 2018
by email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen, Stephen. The Chagos Islanders and International Law, UK, Hart Publishing, 2014
De l’Estrac, Jean-Claude. L’an prochain à Diego Garcia…, Ile Maurice, Le Printemps ltée, 2011
Ollivry, Thierry. Diego Garcia: Enjeux stratégiques, diplomatiques et humanitaires, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2008
Alexandre, C. et K. Koutouki. « Les déplacés des Chagos. Retour sur la lutte de ces habitants pour récupérer leur terre ancestrale » (2014) 27.2 RQDI 1
Harris, Peter. “Militarism in Environmental Disguise: The Greenwashing of an Overseas Military Base” (2015) 9 International Political Sociology 19
Kraska, James. “I.O. 2.0: Indian Ocean Security and the Law of the Sea” (2012) 43 Geo J Int’l L 433
ICJ Advisory Opinion Request on the Chagos Islands, online: https://www.ejiltalk.org/icj-advisory-opinion-request-on-the-chagos-islands/