The Paul Smith Memorial Award

The CBA Administrative Law Section has established an essay competition related to general topics in Canadian administrative law. The objectives of the contest are to promote and reward interest in administrative law topics in Canadian law schools, and to promote participation by Canadian law students and young lawyers in CBA Administrative Law Section activities.

This award is being offered by the CBA Administrative Law Section in memory of its former Chair, Paul Smith. Paul was a dedicated member of the Canadian Bar Association who understood the importance of administrative law in the lives of Canadians. He was also dedicated to supporting youth in all aspects of life, but especially in education.

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Criteria & Eligibility

The award is presented annually for the best English or French scholarly paper on a subject relating to Canadian administrative law, by an individual who is a full-time or a part-time student currently enrolled in a JD or LLB program at a Canadian law school. This includes National Committee on Accreditation candidates enrolled at a Canadian law school. Current articling students in Canada and candidates in the Law Practice Program are also eligible., or lawyers within three years of their call to the Bar as of May 2, 2023

Submission & Selection Process

Papers must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Papers submitted for consideration should address a theme of significance in the field of Canadian administrative law. Paper topics may address issues related to legal practice, policy issues, and/or the administration of justice, but must focus on administrative law or substantive or policy/justice related topics within Canadian administrative law. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
    • Professional regulation of “off-duty” conduct;
    • The standard of review as it applies to regulations;
    • Procedural fairness in the tribunal context;
    • Delay and access to justice;
    •  Non-Disclosure Agreements in the administrative tribunal setting.
  • Papers will be assessed based on their:
    • Content, including depth of research, accuracy and analysis (50%);
    • Readability, including grammar, clarity, and tone (25%); and
    • Impact, including originality, relevance, and significance (25%).
  • Papers must not exceed 12,000 words, including footnotes and endnotes.
  • Papers must be double spaced using Times New Roman, font size 12. All pages should be numbered consecutively.
  • Papers must be appropriately referenced; Notes may be footnotes or endnotes. They should be numbered consecutively throughout the text with superscript Arabic numbers.
  • Papers may be written in English or French.
  • 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. Papers that are published in an academic journal or prepared for a conference or professional development course are not 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.

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.

Deadline for Submissions

May 2

Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.


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.

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


The award consists of a cash prize of $500.00. The winning paper will also be posted on the CBA Administrative Law Section webpage.

Past Winners