CBA Privacy and Access Law Section Student Essay Contest

The CBA Privacy and Access Law Section established an annual Law Student Essay Contest with the objectives of promoting interest in Privacy and Access Law topics in Canadian law schools and participation by Canadian law students in the Privacy and Access Law Section.


The award is presented annually for the best English or French scholarly paper received by the submission date on a subject relating to privacy and access law in Canada by an individual who is a full-time or a part-time student currently enrolled at a Canadian law school. Also, all current graduating law students, articling students, candidates in the Law Practice Program and National Committee on Accreditation candidates enrolled at a Canadian law school, are eligible to enter as long as they are not called to the Bar in Canada.

Papers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Papers must be no more than 30 pages in length, including references (12 points Times New Roman double-spaced, excluding the title page and bibliography).
  • Papers must address a theme of significance in the field of privacy and access Law, or public policy or public affairs related to same. In any given year, the Privacy and Access Law Section may call for submissions related to specific topical privacy law themes and, if so, will make compliance with the themes a condition of eligibility for that particular year.
  • Papers must be appropriately referenced; all referencing methods in the legal field will be accepted.
  • Papers may be written in English or in French.
  • Papers must be researched and written by one author. Papers must be the author’s own original, unpublished work.
  • 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.
  • Additional formatting requirements.

Papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Papers must be original
  • Papers must be of great theoretical or practical value
  • Papers must have a clear thesis statement and a sound argumentative thread
  • Papers must be properly structured with a clear introduction and conclusion
  • The prose must be graceful, clear and free of jargon
  • Papers must be creative and persuasive


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 or reference 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 that submits such content.


Papers will be evaluated by a jury of 3-5 members, including members on the executive committee. The selection committee may decide not to offer an award in any one year.

Deadline for Submission

May 2

Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.


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


The winner receives a complimentary registration to the CBA Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium. 

The winner will be announced on the Section’s webpage and through Section and CBA communications. They will also be recognized at the Symposium, and the winner will receive a certificate.

The author will grant the CBA the non-exclusive right to produce, reproduce and publish and sell the work. 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 consent obtained for quotes or extracts from other sources that, except as noted, the work is original and its use and publication by CBA will not expose CBA to any claim or liability for breach of confidence or copyright.