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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

sarah_nouwen_in_darfur_apc.jpgThe Leiden Journal of International Law has awarded Dr Sarah Nouwen with the prize for the best article published in the journal over the past three years. Her piece '"As You Set out for Ithaka": Practical, Epistemological, Ethical, and Existential Questions about Socio-Legal Empirical Research in Conflict', (2014) 27 LJIL 227 was chosen as "an outstanding and original contribution to international legal scholarship".

The Jury report reads:

"Sarah Nouwen offers a very refreshing approach in an article which is pleasant to read and tells us a story. Her article, and her research more generally, is truly interdisciplinary, and empirically grounded. This is still rare in legal circles. Her article makes for a very good read and demonstrates the challenges with which Western scholars struggle when doing empirical research in conflict areas in former Western colonies. Thus showing both the importance of multidisciplinary work and how demanding and challenging it is, this paper deserves a broad readership."

The article is the "story behind the story" that Nouwen tells in her book Complementarity in the Line of Fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court (Cambridge University Press).

Dr Nouwen's responded to the news of winning the prize: "I had long doubted whether to write, let alone publish, this piece: dealing with all kinds of challenges during fieldwork, it is quite personal. That the Leiden Journal decided to award precisely this article with a prize means a lot to me. It also, I believe, means a lot for the field of international law, demonstrating as it does international lawyers' openness to non-doctrinal scholarship."