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Posted April 2, 2012

Boronow Wins Human Rights Writing Competition

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Third-year law student Clare Boronow's paper on the human rights responsibilities of Indian and Alaskan native tribes won the Third Annual Human Rights Student Scholars Writing Competition.

Clare Boronow, a third-year student at the University of Virginia School of Law, has won the Third Annual Human Rights Student Scholars Writing Competition for her paper examining the human rights responsibilities of Indian and Alaskan native tribes.

Contact: Mary Wood

This year marks the first that a Virginia Law student has garnered the prize in the school's blindly judged, national competition, which is sponsored by the University of Virginia School of Law Human Rights Program and the Virginia Journal of International Law.
 
"It's an enormous and unexpected honor to be selected as the winner of the Human Rights Student Scholars Writing Competition," Boronow said. "I'm particularly honored to be the first Virginia Law student to win and hope to be just the first in a long line of UVA winners."

The contest awards a $500 prize and consideration for publication in the journal, but the Virginia Law Review had already accepted her paper prior to the contest's outcome, Boronow said.

Boronow argues in the article that federal and international law create an accountability gap for human rights violations committed by tribes, which can leave victims without access to a remedy.

"I suggest filling that gap by recognizing that tribes have a duty under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights," Boronow said. "By accepting human rights obligations, tribes demonstrate that they are willing to take on both the benefits and burdens of sovereignty and can help dispel some of the negative perceptions of tribal governance."

Boronow said her early career inspired her paper. She served for three years as a paralegal for the Indian Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked on such issues as treaty rights, gaming and converting native lands into trusts.

After graduation, Boronow will clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Gregory B. Wormuth, a magistrate for the District of New Mexico.

Reported by Eric Williamson