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The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.


Susan Harris Rimmer Wins Audre Rapoport Prize for Scholarship on the Human Rights of Women

Susan Harris Rimmer was chosen as the winner of the Audre Rapoport Prize for 2006. Her winning paper, “Orphans' or Veterans? Justice for Children Born of War in East Timor” (pdf) examines the transitional justice mechanisms available to sexual violence survivors and their children in East Timor, and proposes creative policy and legal options to improve the situation of these families, namely, a re-characterization of the affected women and their children as “veterans” of the conflict, with the same status as the former Falintil guerrillas. As part of her award, Ms. Harris Rimmer won a cash prize of $1000 and the opportunity to publish her paper in the Texas International Law Journal. The paper will appear in Issue 3 of Volume 42.

Ms. Harris Rimmer grew up in the small town of Coonabarabran , in the state of New South Wales, Australia. She received her B.A. (Hons)/LLB (Hons) in International Relations and English Literature from the University of Queensland (2005) and received the University Medal. She is about to complete her SJD candidacy in International Law at the Australian National University. She has worked for the UN refugee agency and Australian NGOs and is currently a legal adviser specializing in human rights law for Library of the Australian Parliament in Canberra (equivalent to the Congressional Research Service).

The Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice received eleven submissions from all over the United States and a few from other parts of the world. The papers were “blind-judged” (with authors' names and affiliations removed) in a two-part process. A multidisciplinary University of Texas panel selected four papers to forward to the second round of judging. The distinguished panel of judges in the second round were professors Richard Battistoni (Political Science, Providence College), Hilary Charlesworth (Law, Australian National University), and Karen Knop (Law, University of Toronto). The prize was made possible by a donation from University of Texas linguistics professor Robert King in honor of the work of Audre Rapoport, who has spent many hours dedicated to the advancement of women in the United States and abroad, particularly on issues of reproductive health. It is also meant to further the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center 's mission to build a multidisciplinary community engaged in the study and practice of human rights that promotes the economic and political enfranchisement of marginalized individuals and groups both locally and globally.

The Rapoport Center extends its thanks to all the judges and the students who submitted their excellent papers, which made the competition so exciting.

Read here about the winning paper in 2005: "Unofficial Accountability: A Proposal for the Permanent Women's Tribunal on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict," by Fleming Terrell.