The ASLP Essay Competition is designed to encourage original research and writing in legal theory and philosophy of law by early career scholars around the world. The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of AU$1,000, plus a contribution of up to AU$500 towards the cost of attendance at the Society’s Annual Conference to present the essay as a paper.

The winner of the 2021 Competition was Xi Zhang (NYU) for his paper “Valuing, Valuable, and Reason”.

Who can take part?


The competition is open to students currently enrolled in a postgraduate degree program (Master or Doctoral) in any discipline. Graduates in one discipline reading for a first degree in a different discipline (such as a Juris Doctor) are not eligible.

Submission process and deadline


Submissions may be on any topic in legal theory or the philosophy of law. Essays must be in English and not exceed 15,000 words (including notes, references, headings, etc). 


It is a condition of being awarded the ASLP Essay Prize that the winning essay be submitted for publication in the next issue of the Journal of Legal Philosophy. Note that the essay will still need to go through the review process and that publication is not guaranteed.

Entries for the 2022 Competition will be open later in the year.