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Hon Rex Mason Prize for Legal Writing

26 June 2017

The Honourable Rex Mason Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing was established in 1973 and is New Zealand's oldest legal writing prize. It commemorates Henry Greathead Rex Mason (1885-1975), one of New Zealand's longest-serving MPs. After completing an LLB at Victoria University College, Mr Mason became a lawyer in Pukekohe. He began a long career as an MP when he was elected to Parliament in 1926.

When he retired in 1966 he had been Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the first Labour Government and also in the second Labour Government, from 1957 to 1960. He was the driving force behind the Crimes Act 1961 and was awarded an honorary LLD by Victoria University.

The prize – which is valued at around $1,000 each year – is managed by the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Law Society, as trustee for the Honourable Rex Mason Trust. Under the terms of the trust, the judges are a nominee of the Chief Justice, the Dean of Victoria University of Wellington Law School, and the Editor of the New Zealand Law Journal.

The judges are required to be guided by a number of factors. These are: the educational value of each article, its literary value, its ability to stimulate awareness in young lawyers of the nature and function of law as seen in and derived from personal experience, the extent to which it draws attention to the need for development of law in times of social change, and the extent to which each article stimulates the interest of practising members of the legal profession.

Prize winners since 2010 are as follows:

YearPrize WinnerArticlePublished
2017Sarah AlawiGestational Surrogacy Disputes: A Proposed Cause of Action for intended Parents in New ZealandNew Zealand Law Review, 2017
2016Oliver Hailes & Andrew GeddisThe Trans-Pacific Partnership in New Zealand's ConstitutionNew Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol 27 (2)
2015Sarah Croskery-HewittRethinking sexual consent: Voluntary intoxication and affirmative consent to sexNew Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol 26 (3)
2014Hugo FarmerAn analysis of New Zealand's abortion law system and a guide to reformPublic Interest Law Journal, pages 147-168
2013Zoe LawtonNon-Consensual Artificial PaternityNZ Family Law Journal, June 2013
2012Ed WillisOn Regulatory UncertaintyNZ Law Journal, August 2012
2011Jessica PalmerControlling the TrustOtago Law Review, 2011
2010Hamish McQueenParliamentary Business: A critical review of Parliament's role …Auckland University Law Review, 2010

Last updated on the 19th March 2019