CBA Criminal Justice Section Student Essay Contest - Current issues in Canadian sentencing law

  • January 04, 2024

The CBA Criminal Justice Section has established the “Current issues in Canadian sentencing law” Student Essay Contest for the best paper written on a subject relating to current issues in Canadian sentencing law. The objectives of the contest are to promote and reward interest in criminal law careers in Canadian law schools and to promote participation by Canadian law students in the national Criminal Justice Section.

Enter Today


The award is presented annually for the best English or French scholarly paper received by the submission date on a subject relating to current issues in Canadian sentencing law 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 be no more than 12,000 words in length, including references (12-point Times New Roman, double-spaced), excluding the title page and bibliography.
  • Papers must address developments in Canadian law and/or Canadian legal history related to current issues in sentencing law.
  • All paper submissions must be the original work of the author, and content produced by AI is not considered original work.
  • Papers must be appropriately referenced; all referencing methods in the legal field will be accepted.
  • Papers may be written in English or in French. There will be one prize in total.
  • Papers must be researched and written by one author. Papers must be the author's own original, unpublished work. Papers that are submitted for a law school course are eligible.
  • The author's name and identifying information must not appear on the paper itself.
  • A brief abstract (max. 150 words) and author biography (max. 150 words) must also be submitted.
  • Additional formatting requirements.


  • Creativity and persuasiveness
  • Originality
  • Theoretical or practical value
  • Soundness of argumentative or expositive thread, including clarity of thesis statement
  • Effectiveness of organization and structure, including clarity of introduction and conclusion
  • Quality of prose, with value ascribed to gracefulness and clarity

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 significant quality.

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 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.


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.


Individuals must submit their own papers for consideration, together with their full name, address, telephone/fax numbers and email address).

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.


The winner will be announced on the Section’s webpage and through Section and CBA communications as appropriate. The winning article will be published on the CBA Criminal Justice Section webpage.

The winner receives a $500 cash award. There will be no formal award presentation. As required, the National Section executive will work with the award recipients corresponding CBA branch to organize the presentation of a certificate.


May 2

Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.

Enter Today


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