National Native American Law Students Association Writing Competition

Article post date 5/08/14

Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law second-year students Cindy Campbell and Cynthia Vel placed first and  second respectively in the 13th Annual National Native American Law Students Association Writing Competition. The  competition was open to law students nationwide and presented by the Seattle University Native American Law Students 
Association and the Seattle University Indian Law Journal.

Also known as the Indian Law Writing Competition, the purpose is to recognize excellence in legal research and writing related to Indian Law, and actively encourage the development and writing skills of NNALSA members, and enhance substantive knowledge in the fields of Federal Indian Law.  Topics for the competition addressed Federal Indian law and Policy, Tribal Law and Policy, International Law and Policy concerning Indigenous Peoples, and Comparative Law.

Campbell's paper, "Give Them a Dam Break!": Protecting the Ngäbe-Buglé Community of Panama with Clean Development Mechanism Safeguards to Promote Culturally Sensitive Development, was the winning submission which garnered a cash prize, and acceptance for publication in the American Indian Law Journal. She prepared the paper while enrolled in the Human Rights and the Environment Seminar, taught by Professor Randy Abate.

Vel's submission, Respecting the "Guardians of Nature": Chile’s Violations of the Diaguita Indigenous Peoples’ Environmental and Human Rights and the Need to Enforce Obligations to Obtain Free Prior, and Informed Consent, 
earned second, and along with a cash prize will also be published in the American Indian Law Journal.  Vel prepared her paper while enrolled in the same seminar course.

"Ms. Campbell and Ms. Vel's exceptional achievements mark the second consecutive year that FAMU students have claimed two of the top three positions in a writing competition with papers addressing topics in International and Environmental Law," remarked Professor Abate.

FAMU students placed first and third in the 2013 Frank Maloney Writing Competition sponsored by the Environmental and 
Land use Law Section of the Florida Bar