Best Paper Prize

Best Paper Prize

Best Paper Prize


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.

Entry Conditions

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 (figures and tables are not included in the word count).

The Author

•   Must be a fully paid-up member of the Society. 

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) NB: This requirement does not apply to the Best Paper Prize by doctoral student.

See further Guidance notes 1 and 2.


Quality, in terms of

•   Originality
•   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. NB. A convenor may nominate one paper to each the Best Paper Prize and the Best Paper Prize by Doctoral student.

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 carries a £300 monetary award and may, in the judges’ discretion, be shared between two or more papers. The winning paper(s) will, subject to the usual process of review and publisher’s conditions, appear in Legal Studies.

A shortlist will be announced over the summer, 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.

Guidance Notes

1. In 2023, the deadline is Friday 23rd June 2023.

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.

If you do have any queries please email Sarah Byrne on or call +44 (0) 1904 702165.

Please contact the Secretariat:

SLS 2024 Conference Secretariat
c/o Mosaic Events
Tower House
Mill Lane
Askham Bryan
YO23 3FS

Tel +44 (0) 1904 702165


Please note the SLS Treasurer and SLS web team are unable to answer questions relating to the conference.

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