8 February 2018

Should humanitarian assistance be guided by national security concerns or should it focus on saving lives? This is the dilemma that Rebecca Sutton and students at the University of Western Ontario Law School grappled with in 2017, as they re-enacted the negotiations that determined the United States’s response to the 2011 famine in Somalia. In her introduction to a series of posts published in the Harvard Law School Case Studies Blog on 19 January 2018, Sutton argues that role-play exercises help students to “[take] the law out of the books” and may ultimately “spur [them] to articulate ideas about prospects for reform.” She concludes that, although experiential learning may leave students disillusioned about the humanitarian impacts of international law, it allows them to get at its complexity in practice. Rebecca Sutton is a 2014 Trudeau scholar, a lawyer, and a PhD candidate in law at the London School of Economics. Read Rebecca’s introduction to the series here.

Rebecca Sutton

She is studying the international community’s response to armed conflict today through the new lens of law, war, and aid combined.

2014 Scholars