Laws of War Essay Competition 2022

Australian Red Cross is pleased to launch the 2022 Australian Red Cross Laws of War Essay Competition. The laws of war, also known as international humanitarian law (IHL), seek to limit the effects of armed conflict. They protect persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restrict the means and methods of warfare. This topical competition aims to encourage students to engage with challenges currently facing IHL. It is open to all tertiary students at Australian institutions, and we particularly encourage students of diverse disciplines and backgrounds to submit.

Key Information


Deadline for submissions: 11:59pm (AWST) 11 September 2022 via email* to

*Prior to submission, please ensure you download and read the Essay Competition Info Pack, which contains the Essay Competition Rules, entry form and other essential information.

Question: What is the biggest challenge facing international humanitarian law – also known as the laws of war – in the 21st century? Discuss with reference to one of the following:

  • Protection of civilians;
  • Protection of civilian objects, such as schools;
  • Provision of health care and humanitarian aid in conflict zones;
  • Consequences of armed conflict for the natural environment; or
  • Safety of journalists.

Word limit: 1500-2000 words (exclusive of footnote references).

Prize: The winning entrant will receive a book voucher for Boffins Books valued at $100, with thanks to the generosity of the Dorothy and Bill Irwin Charitable Trust. The winning entry will also have the opportunity to publish the final paper on the Australian Red Cross International Humanitarian Law blog.

Judging: Judges will be appointed by Australian Red Cross. The entries will be judged based on: (a) quality of answer to the set question; (b) quality of research; (c) clarity of expression and argument; and (d) originality. The winning entry will be determined by consensus of the judges from among those judged to have the greatest merit.

Download the Information Pack and Submission Form.

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