The Lord Reading Society Human Rights Essay Contest


We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Society’s Human Rights Essay Contest. This contest not only pays homage to the remarkable legacy of The Lord Reading Law Society, but also seeks to delve into the most significant Canadian human rights issues in 2024 from a legal perspective. This essay contest is intended to serve as a testament to the Society’s commitment to human rights, the pursuit of justice, and the defence of the rule of law.

We invite all lawyers, including members of the Barreau du Quebec, any other law society, notaries, law professors and law students to participate in this unique opportunity to contribute to the advancement of human rights law in Canada.

Embrace the opportunity to express your thoughts and insights in either English or French, crafting an essay that addresses your perspective on the most pressing human rights issues relevant to current Canadian law. The field of topics that may be addressed is intended to be broad and submissions may address issues related to race, religion, language, indigenous rights, LGBTQ+, refugees, freedom of expression or any other human rights question that might be of interest, whether related to the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the use of the “Notwithstanding clause”, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, case law, legal procedure, or anything of the contributor’s choosing pertaining to the foregoing.

Authors are allotted up to 2000 words (exclusive of footnotes) to make a compelling legal argument. To submit, authors must send their essay in electronic format (Word or PDF) to by August 15, 2024 at 5 PM EST with the subject “YOUR NAME – Human Rights Essay.” No late submissions will be considered for review.

Upon submission, an esteemed jury of Lord Reading members appointed by The Lord Reading Law Society’s board will evaluate the essays based on a comprehensive set of criteria. We seek originality and creativity, encouraging participants to offer fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. Clarity and coherence of arguments are vital to ensure that your message resonates powerfully.

Each essay will undergo a rigorous evaluation process, conducted by our jury. To ensure utmost fairness and impartiality, all essays will be submitted anonymously. Names and personal information will be removed during the evaluation process, allowing the jury to focus solely on the merit of the submissions. For this year’s competition, the jury will include Gregory Azancot (Azancot & Associates), Karen Eltis (uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society), Mara Greenstone (MT>Align, a division of McCarthy Tetrault LLP), Neil Hazan (Borden Ladner Gervais), Erin Lesser (RBC), Manuel Shacter (McMillan LLP) and Ian Solloway (Spunt & Carin).

As we celebrate this momentous occasion, The Lord Reading Law Society is committed to sharing the top submissions in an online compendium entitled “The Lord Reading Human Rights Essay Series,” half from student contributors and half from professional contributors.

The grand prize winners (the student and professional contributors placing in first, second, and third place) will each receive a Lord Reading membership for a single season and a pass to attend two Lord Reading events free of charge during such season. Winners will also receive the following cash prizes:

  1. First prize: $1,000
  2. Second prize: $600
  3. Third prize: $400

The top submissions will be proudly published and made available on our website. In addition, a curated PDF version will be distributed to various outlets, including, legal organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, journals and the media, promoting advanced discourse on human rights.

Together, let us celebrate The Lord Reading Law Society’s remarkable legacy, honour the rich legal heritage of Québec and Canada, and champion the fundamental principles of human rights that are the very foundation of the Lord Reading Law Society’s mission and at the core of our profession. Your voice can shape Canadian human rights discourse, leaving an indelible impact on the legal landscape of our country.

Terms and Conditions

In submitting works for potential inclusion in The Lord Reading Human Rights Essay Series, any person submitting work acknowledges and agrees to the following terms and conditions:

  1. The contributor acknowledges that the essay series is intended to promote bona fide legal scholarship.
  2. The contributor represents and warrants that it has authored the submission in question (“Submission”) and has the legal right to make the relevant contribution.
  3. The contributor represents and warrants that it grants the Lord Reading Law Society and its sublicensees an irrevocable right to publish and publicize the Submission.
  4. The contributor acknowledges and agrees that the award of prizes by the jury are in its sole and unfettered discretion and shall be final, binding and without appeal.
  5. The contributor acknowledges and agrees that he/she has no right to access any information in connection with its Submission, other submissions, jury deliberations nor any decision-making in connection with the essay series.