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Rutgers–Newark Law Student Wins NY State Bar Association Writing Competition Award for Scholarship on International Law

January 27, 2012 – 

Casey G. Watkins, a second-year student at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has received the Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition Award from the International Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). Watkins’s winning paper, titled “Whaling in the Antarctic: Case Analysis and Suggestions for the Future of Antarctic Whaling and Stock Management,” will be published in the Summer 2012 issue of the New York International Law Review.

The NYSBA competition is open to J.D., LL.M., Ph.D., and S.J.D. candidates. Entries are judged on a variety of factors, including significance and timeliness of the subject matter, thoroughness of research and analysis, and clarity of writing style.

Watkins’s paper focuses on the long-standing tension between Australia and Japan over Japanese whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary. In 2010, following the breakdown of an attempt to achieve a diplomatic solution to the disputed scientific whaling, Australia began proceedings against Japan in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging that the operation violates international obligations for the preservation of marine mammals and the marine environment. 

Watkins presents the case for an ICJ judgment absolving Japan of the charges, arguing that Australia’s claims are not solidly grounded in treaty law that is binding on Japan. “The solution to the problem of Japanese scientific whaling lies,” he writes, “in compromise and negotiations, not in the ICJ.” Watkins concludes that a new market-based regulatory framework that would attach a monetary cost to whaling and would bring all whaling under one management scheme could effectively regulate and eventually eliminate commercial whaling.”

Commenting on his winning entry, Watkins said: “The competition was a great experience. I chose the topic because it is an area of international law that has generated a lot of popular discussion but the legal framework remains largely misunderstood. I would like to thank the New York State Bar Association and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP for sponsoring the award, and Professor Karima Bennoune for the opportunity to write the paper as part of her International Law and a Just World Order course.”

Watkins is on the staff of the Rutgers Law Review and a Gayton A. Rotunda Scholar. During the Spring 2012 semester he is a judicial extern for Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. A native of Idaho, Watkins received his B.S. in political science from the University of Idaho.