New Zealand Law Society - Closing date nears for legal writing prize

Closing date nears for legal writing prize

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Entries for New Zealand's oldest legal writing prize will close on 23 June 2017.

The Honourable Rex Mason Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing was established in 1973. The prize, which is worth 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.

The award this year is for legal writing which has been published in a New Zealand legal publication between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.

Entries must be submitted on the official entry form, which can be downloaded here.

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.

The award 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 last prize winner, for an article published during 2015, was Sarah Croskery-Hewitt. Her article, "Rethinking sexual consent: Voluntary intoxication and affirmative consent to sex", was published in New Zealand Universities Law Review, Vol 26 (3).