Best Paper Prize 2020



The prize is open only to fully paid-up members of the Society.  Where a paper has more than one author, all authors eligible for membership of the Society under its rule 3 must be members. The decision as to eligibility of any co-authors will be taken by the Membership Secretary, whose decision will be final.


The Paper

  • Must have been accepted by the relevant Subject Section Convenor for inclusion in the programme.
  • Must have been submitted through Oxford Abstracts one week before the start of the Conference in the relevant year (see Guidance note 1 for the deadline in the relevant year).
  • Must not have been published previously or have been accepted or be under consideration for publication.
  • Must not exceed 12,000 words including footnotes.

The Author

  • Must present an oral version of the paper at the Annual Conference.
  • Must agree to publish the paper in Legal Studies if awarded the prize (subject to the normal process of review and the publisher’s standard conditions).
  • See further Guidance notes 1 and 2

Quality, in terms of
Contribution to scholarship
Clarity and style


At the end of the Conference, each Subject Section Convenor may nominate not more than one paper from those submitted to their Section as above.  In deciding which paper to nominate (if any), Convenors must apply the criteria outlined above and their academic judgement will be final. Convenors are not obliged to nominate any paper, even where there are eligible ones in their section.  Where a Convenor is unable to judge, for example, where there is a conflict of interest, he or she will nominate another member of the Section to act as an alternate (see further Guidance note 3).

The judges will be the President of the Society, the Subject Sections Secretary and a nominee of the Editors of Legal Studies. Where any is unable to act, the Executive Committee may nominate an alternate.  Judging will be based on the latest version of the paper submitted through Oxford Abstracts one week before the start of the Conference (see Guidance Note 1 for the deadline in the relevant year).  The prize may, in the judges’ discretion, be shared between two or more papers.  A shortlist will be announced by the end of October, with the prize announced shortly thereafter. The judges reserve the right not to present the award and neither they nor the Society will enter into correspondence about the decisions.

Any issues relating to the application of the entry conditions and criteria for the prize shall be determined by the Subject Sections Secretary and the President whose decisions will be final.


1. In 2020, the deadline is Monday 24th August.
2. The author of a paper that satisfies these conditions will be deemed to have consented to that paper being considered for the prize unless they indicate expressly to the contrary.
3. A conflict of interest includes, but is not limited to, where a Convenor, Chair or Judge is a colleague or PhD supervisor of an author.