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Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize 2024


The annual essay prize is offered in furtherance of the objects of the Academy under its Constitution. Those objects include: “[to] establish and advance funds to provide scholarships and research grants which advance legal education and the discipline of law and promote ethical conduct and professional responsibility” and “[t]o promote the highest standards of legal scholarship, legal research, legal education, legal practice, and the administration of justice”


  1. The name of the Prize is “The Australian Academy of Law Annual Essay Prize”.
  2. The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level, or who is working or has worked in a law-based occupation.
  3. There is no limit by reference to the age or seniority or experience of, or position held by, a person who may submit an essay.
  4. The essay topic will be on a subject set by the Prizes and Scholarships Committee of the Academy, and announced on the Academy’s website and through the media by 30 April.
  5. The deadline for submission of essays will be 31 August 2024 and essays received after that date will not be eligible to be considered for the award of the Prize.
  6. Each essay must contain footnotes and a bibliography, and will be subject to a limit of 8,000 words (including footnotes and bibliography). Any essay in excess of 8,000 words will be deemed ineligible for entry. Additionally, each essay must include an abstract of not more than 150 words (excluded from the word count of 8,000 words).
  7. Single-authored or multiple-authored essays will be accepted, but authorship must be original.
  8. A person submitting an essay (including any one of multiple authors) may not submit more than one essay in a particular year.
  9. The essay must be an original work and written for the purpose of the competition.
  10. An essay submitted must be accompanied by a separate cover page giving the author’s name and contact details, but the essay itself must not identify the author. Any other requirements as to format, style or presentation will be notified in connection with the announcement of the essay topic.
  11. Each person submitting an essay must declare that the essay is the person’s own original work. By submitting an essay, participants agree that the Academy may conduct an integrity check for copyright infringement or plagiarism.
  12. By submitting an essay, its author does not vest copyright in the essay in the Academy, or otherwise affect ownership of that copyright.
  13. The annual prize is AUD$10,000. In the case of joint winners or a winning essay by more than one author, the Academy will allocate the Prize between them equally.
  14. It is intended that the Prize be offered annually, but the Academy reserves the right not to offer it in a particular year.
  15. The Academy expects to notify all participants of the result by 31 October and to announce the identity of the winner of the Prize by that date on the Academy’s website.
  16. The Prize will be awarded for the essay assessed to be the best by a Judging Panel to be appointed for the year by the Academy’s Board of Directors, but there is a discretion not to make an award in a particular year if no essay submitted is assessed to be of sufficient merit.
  17. The decision of the Judging Panel is final.
  18. The Academy will be entitled to publish the winning essay on its website. The winner of the Prize must agree that if it is published through any other avenue of publication, that publication will be accompanied by an acknowledgment that the essay was the Prize winning essay in the relevant year.
  19. It is open to the Academy to take up and recommend to any body for implementation any idea expressed in any essay submitted. Where appropriate, the Academy will use its best endeavours to ensure that the source of an idea that is implemented is acknowledged.
  20. It is a condition of participation that any person submitting an essay agrees to be bound by the then current Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize.
  21. The Academy reserves the right to vary these rules from year to year. The current rules will be published on the Academy’s website.

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