The Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) invites entries for the 5th Commonwealth Law Student Essay Competition. The CLEA fosters and PROMOTES high standards of legal education in the Commonwealth. The competition is open to all students registered on an undergraduate law degree course within a Higher Education Institution in a Commonwealth Nations.


£1000 of cash prizes will be awarded to the WINNERSof first, second and third places as follows: 1st Prize: £500  2nd Prize: £300 3rd Prize £200.

The WINNING entry will also be published in the Newsletter of the Commonwealth Legal Education and may also be published in the journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education. Further details are available from: the Essay Co-ordinators:


  • The competition is open to any of the students on undergraduate degree in law at a Faculty/School of Law or equivalent institution in a Commonwealth country.
  • Eligibility shall be determined by the essay coordinators whose decision shall be final and conclusive
  • Students of both full-time and part-time degree programmes are eligible.

Entry Guidelines

  • All entries must address the topic of this year’s competition and not exceed 2,500 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography).
  • The essay must be an original piece of work free of any plagiarism. No essay should have been previously submitted or shortlisted in any previous essay competition. The essay must not have been be previously published either in full or part.
  • All entries must be in English and must be presented formally acknowledging sources with footnotes and references in one of the accepted styles such as OSCOLA or Harvard for legal essays and a bibliography.
  • Entries must be in electronic form as a word document. Footnotes should be placed at the foot of the page, not at the end of the text. Please make sure that the essay can easily be opened as a Word document and does not have any restrictions placed on it in terms of access. The text should be in Ariel 12 font, 1.5 line spacing and the footnotes in subscript.

The entry should have a cover page giving:

  • The Entrant’s full name
  • Postal address and email address
  • The course of study and the name and address of the institution
  • The word count of the essay ( excluding footnotes and bibliography)

Selection Criteria

The judges will be particularly looking for:

  • Originality of ideas
  • Feasibility of outcomes
  • Depth of research and analysis
  • The use of comparative Commonwealth materials
  • Logical structure
  • Literary merit of materials used
  • Good presentation

How to Submit

  • Each entry must be accompanied by an entry form and a scanned signed copy of a declaration by the entrant that the essay represents his/her own unaided work.
  • It must also be accompanied by a similar supporting statement by a teacher or administrator of the law school of which an entrant is a student, to the effect that he or she satisfies the criteria for entry.
  • The statement must be stamped with the institution’s stamp.

All entries should be sent by email to the following email address:

Deadline: October 31, 2014

For more information, click HERE.

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