Call for Entries – The 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize 2017

admin - 24th January 2017

The 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize is the first academic writing award to be established by the Oxford Faculty of Law which focuses on legal issues affecting persons with a disability. It has been established to draw attention to the professional challenges faced by legal practitioners and academics who work in fields in which issues relating to disability frequently arise.  The deadline for submission is: Noon on Friday 27th January 2017 (Second Week of Hilary Term). The first place winner will be awarded £500 at a prize-giving ceremony and drinks event, which will be held on Friday 3rd February 2017 at 5.00pm. The 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize will focus on issues affecting people with a disability and the way in which these issues interact with the law.

The Report Doing Careers Differently highlighted that ‘non-disabled people are three times as likely as disabled people to earn £80,000’ (Royal Association for Disability Rights (RADAR), 2012) The Report also emphasises that ‘living with disability, injury or impairment need not be a barrier to success at work’ (RADAR, 2012). International and domestic law takes into account, as it must, the rights of persons who have a disability to work on an equal basis with others.  For instance, Article 27(1) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides that:

‘States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in  a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities. States Parties shall safeguard and promote the realization of the right to work,  including for those who acquire a disability during the course of employment, by taking appropriate steps, including through legislation, to, inter alia:

  1. Protect the rights of persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with others, to just and favourable conditions of work, including equal opportunities and equal remuneration for work of equal  value, safe and healthy working conditions, including protection from harassment, and the redress of grievances’.

Essay Question:

How should the law protect the right of persons with disabilities to just and favourable conditions of work, on an equal basis with others, including equal remuneration for work of equal value?

Deadline for Submission: Noon on Friday 27th January 2017

Admissions should be submitted by email

Word limit (including footnotes): 1,000 (Minimum) to 1,200 (Maximum)

Prize-Giving Event: Friday 3rd February 2017, 5.00pm

Venue: tbc

Please consult the Rules for Submission: see Appendix 1 of the attached document.

Participants in this competition will have the chance to:

  • Showcase their academic writing and argument to our distinguished judges, Aysha Ahmad,  leading employment and discrimination law barrister at 42 Bedford Row, and Professor Alan Bogg, Professor of  Labour Law, University of Oxford;
  • Win a cash prize of £500 (First Place);
  • Win a cash prize of £200 (Second Place);
  • Win a cash prize of £100 (Third Place).
  • Attend the drinks reception following the essay prize-giving ceremony at which they will have the opportunity to meet experienced barristers and solicitors.


Eligibility and Submission

(1) The competition is open to all current matriculated students of the University of Oxford.

(2) Competitors must enter the competition as individuals.

(3) The essay must be the work of the person who submits it.

(4)To enter the competition, competitors must submit: (a) an essay that complies with the rules; and (b) a completed version of the cover page contained in Appendix 2, by noon GMT on Friday the 27th of January 2017 to

Format of Essays 

(1) Essays must be between 1000 and 1200 words in length (including footnotes).

(2) The essay must be typed (12 point Times New Roman font; text single-spaced; character spacing normal; margins of 2.5cm on all sides of the page).

(3) Essays must comply with either the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (‘OSCOLA’) or the Harvard Referencing System.

Assessment of Essays

(1) All essays that are submitted in accordance with the rules will be judged by the competition’s Organising Committee.

(2) The Organising Committee will shortlist the ten essays that, when measured against the Assessment Criteria, are judged to be the best.

(3) The Distinguished Judging Panel will decide which essays are to receive a prize by applying the Assessment Criteria to the essays that have been shortlisted.

(4) For the purposes of rules 4(2) and 4(3), the Assessment Criteria are: (a) the essay pays close attention to the question asked; (b) the essay demonstrates sound knowledge and understanding of the topic; (c) the essay is accurate, with few substantial errors or omissions; (d) the essay is clear, well structured and appropriately integrates information and ideas; (e) the essay identifies more than one line of argument and demonstrates a good appreciation of relevant theoretical arguments.

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