The Rules

A PDF version of the rules may be downloaded here.

Submission of the essay

  1. Essays must be submitted by email with “FSLA Competition Essay 2023” in the subject line
    to by midnight GMT on Friday 6 October 2023.
    No entries after this date will be accepted for the competition. The organisers accept no
    responsibility for delivery or for subsequent safekeeping of any essay entered for the
  2. The essay should be attached to the email and the attachment should be named as follows:
    “FSLA Essay Competition 2023”.

Criteria for entrants

  1. Subject to rule 4, the essay competition is open to anyone who satisfies any one or more
    of the following criteria at the point at which the competition closes in accordance with
    rule 1:
    3.1 a person who is studying as an undergraduate or postgraduate student in any legal
    discipline registered with a UK educational institution (including a person studying for a
    Postgraduate Diploma in Law, SQE preparation course, barrister training course, or any
    other pre-qualification course); or
    3.2 a person who is undergoing any period of legal professional training (such as qualifying
    work experience, pupillage or legal apprenticeship) with a view to qualifying as a lawyer.
  2. The essay competition is not open to any person who is qualified or admitted to practice
    (in any jurisdiction) as a lawyer

Essay criteria

  1. Only one entry per person will be allowed for each annual competition.
  2. The essay must be the sole creation and original work of the entrant. No previously
    published work will be accepted. Any form of plagiarism will result in immediate
    disqualification. All essays submitted will be closely checked for plagiarism. Entrants are
    expected already to be aware of any plagiarism guidance and policies of the academic and
    professional training institutions to which they currently belong or have belonged.
  3. Any essay submitted should conform to the following rules as to content, length and style:
    7.1 The essay should begin with a cover page stipulating the author’s full name, address,
    contact details (including email address), word count (see 7.2 below) and details as to how
    they meet the eligibility criteria in paragraph 3 above. Information which might identify
    the author should not be included in any further section of the essay (including the header
    and footer).
    7.2 The essay must be of no more than 1,500 words (including footnotes but not including the
    cover page).
    7.3 The essay should be in Word (or equivalent) (i.e. not PDF), typed with double line spacing
    and contain page numbers.
    7.4 The essay should use the OSCOLA referencing system. Any cases or statutes referred to in
    any essay should be fully cited the first time that they are used

Judging and prizes

  1. FSLA reserves the right to shortlist essays prior to judging.
  2. The judges’ decisions on any awarding of any prize in the competition will be final and is
    not subject to any appeal. Essays will be judged on the quality of legal analysis, and not on
    judges’ views as to the merits of the wider issue.
  3. All shortlisting and judging will be carried out on the basis of anonymised essays.
  4. First prize (the Chris Stallard Memorial Prize) is £1,500 and a legal internship at the
    Financial Conduct Authority. FSLA will arrange for payment of reasonable expenses (as
    determined by FSLA in its absolute discretion) although the internship will otherwise be
    unpaid. Second prize is £750. Third prize is £500.
  5. FSLA reserves the right, in its absolute discretion and without notice, to:
    12.1 make a substitution for any prize; or
    12.2 withhold the award of any or all prizes offered (if in its view no essay entered warrants the
    award of any or all prize(s)).
  6. Taking up of the legal internship will be subject to FCA approval, which may require
    provision of personal information to the FCA, agreement to undergo security checks and
    confirmation that the individual has taken unpaid leave if the prize-winner is in current
    employment on the dates selected for the internship.
    If the first prize-winner is unable or chooses not to take up the legal internship there will
    be no substitute for this prize and it may, at FSLA Executive Committee’s discretion, be
    offered to the other prize-winners in turn.
  7. Prize-winners will be notified once judging is complete

Information rights

  1. Prize-winners are entitled to refer to the achievement on their CV.
  2. FSLA reserves the right to publish or reproduce any or all of any essay entered for the
    competition, as well as the name and educational institution of the author. In reproducing
    any essay FSLA reserves the right to omit, alter, paraphrase, or delete any part of that
    essay in their absolute discretion for any reason.
  3. Entrants who do not consent to the publishing of their name and educational
    establishment (as a prize-winner or otherwise) should notify FSLA by email at the point at
    which their essay is submitted.

Interpretation of the rules

  1. The decision of the FSLA Executive Committee on the interpretation of these rules will be