Auckland lawyer Sarah Alawi has won the 2017 Hon Rex Mason Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing.
Ms Alawi is an associate with Auckland law firm Gilbert/Walker, who she joined after completing two years as a Judges' Clerk at the High Court in Auckland
Sarah Alawi joined Gilbert/Walker after completing two years as a Judges’ Clerk at the High Court at Auckland. She holds LLB(Hons) and BA degrees from the University of Auckland, where she was awarded a Dean’s Academic Excellence Award in Law and a number of Faculty of Arts prizes.
To be eligible for the award, entries had to have been published in a New Zealand legal publication between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017.
Ms Alawai received the award for her article "Gestational Surrogacy Disputes: A Proposed Cause of Action for Intended Parents in New Zealand", which was published in the New Zealand Law Review in 2017.
Three other entries received "honourable mentions":
- Anjori Mitra for her article “We’re always going to argue about abortion": International law's changing attitudes towards abortion” published in the New Zealand Women’s Law Journal – Te Aho Kawe Kaupapa Ture a nga Wahine in 2017;
- Nicola Hulley for her book review “International Arbitration and Global Governance, Contending Theories and Evidence” published in the New Zealand Yearbook of International Law in 2017; and
- Claudia Geiringer for her entry “The Constitutional Role of the Courts under the NZ Bill of Rights: Three Narratives from Attorney-General v Taylor” published in the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review in 2017.
The prize is New Zealand's oldest legal writing prize. It was established in 1973 and commemorates Henry Greathead Rex Mason (1885-1975), one of New Zealand's longest-serving MPs.
Valued at around $1,000 each year, the prize is managed by the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Law Society, as trustee for the Honourable Rex Mason Trust.
The judging panel comprised the Hon Justice Helen Winkelmann, Professor Mark Hickford (Dean of Law, Victoria University of Wellington) and Brenda Midson (General Editor, New Zealand Law Journal, Senior Lecturer, Te Piringa Faculty of Law at the University of Waikato).