Child & Youth Law Section Student Essay Contest

The CBA Child & Youth Law Section has established an essay competition related to general topics in Canadian child and youth law. The objectives of the competition are to promote and reward interest in child & youth law topics in Canadian law schools and to promote participation by Canadian law students in the activities of the CBA Child & Youth Law Section.

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Criteria & Eligibility

The award is presented annually for the best scholarly paper received by the submission date on a subject relating to Canadian child and youth law by an individual who meets the following eligibility criteria:

  • Full-time university student currently enrolled at a Canadian law school at an undergraduate or graduate level.

Submission & Selection Process

Papers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Must be no longer than 20 pages, including references (12- point Times New Roman double-spaced, excluding the title page and bibliography).
  • Must address a theme of significance in child and youth law, or public policy or public affairs related to same.
  • Must be appropriately referenced; all referencing methods in the legal field will be accepted.
  • May be written in English or French.
  • Must be researched and written by one author and must be the author’s original, unpublished work.
  • Individuals must submit their own papers for consideration, together with their full name, address, telephone and email address.
  • Additional formatting requirements.

Papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:   

  • Originality 
  • Important theoretical or practical value 
  • Clear thesis statement and a sound argumentative thread
  • Proper structure with a clear introduction and conclusion 
  • Graceful prose, clear and free of jargon 
  • Creative and persuasive

Papers written in the context of a course or written specifically for this competition will be accepted. However, we encourage students to be selective in their submission and only send papers of outstanding quality.

The recipient of the Award will be selected by a Section-appointed jury. The jury may decide not to offer an award in any one year.

The author will grant the CBA the non-exclusive right to produce, reproduce and publish and sell the work (as part of the CLE materials available to be purchased on the CBA website). The CBA will acknowledge in any publication the authorship as noted in the work. The author authorizes the CBA to make minor revisions that the CBA may judge necessary for the purpose of such publication. The author warrants that the appropriate acknowledgement has been given and written consent obtained for quotes or extracts from other sources, and that, except as noted, the work is original and its use and publication by the CBA will not expose the CBA to any claim or liability for breach of confidence or copyright.

Deadline for Submissions

May 2

Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.

Plagiarism Policy

Submissions must not infringe the intellectual property rights of others and must not plagiarize another’s work. Plagiarism is deliberately presenting the ideas, expression of ideas or work of others as one’s own. Plagiarism includes reproducing or paraphrasing portions of someone else’s published or unpublished material, regardless of the source, and presenting these as one’s own without proper citation, reference or required permissions to the original source. The CBA reserves the right to assess all submissions for content that potentially infringes on or plagiarizes the work of another and will disqualify any candidate who submits such content.

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CBA Sections
Phone: (613) 237-2925 or
Toll-Free: (800) 267-8860


The winner will receive a $500 cash award and a certificate.

The winning submission will be announced on the Section’s webpage and through Section and CBA communications as appropriate.

Past Winners

2023 - Tahwila Husaini

2022 - Grace Gardner

2021 - Maria Reisdorf