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The Judges Matter Prize in Excellent Writing on the Judiciary

The Judges Matter Prize in Excellent Writing on the Judiciary

The Judges Matter Prize in Excellent Writing on the Judiciary

Win prizes valued at R35 000!

Judges Matter is proud to present the annual prize for excellent essays written about the judiciary.

Launched in 2021, the aim of the prize is to encourage critical thinking and academic engagement with issues affecting the judiciary in South Africa.

Entrants are encouraged to cover any issue relating to the judiciary, especially on:
– the appointment of judges,
– judicial independence,
– the regulation of judicial (mis)conduct, and
– the governance and administration of the judiciary.

While primarily focused on the South African judiciary, comparative discussions are also accepted. Only individually-authored essays are accepted.

The Student Prize is valued at R15 000 while the Emerging Academic Prize is valued at R20 000.


1. Only individually authored entries will be considered (no co-authored essays are allowed).
2. Entries must be submitted in English.
3. Essays must be written in the house style of the South African Law Journal (see here)
4. Plagiarised essays will be automatically disqualified. Judges Matter may report the entrant to their academic institution for further action.
5. You may not use text generated using AI language models (ChatGPT, etc.) unless your topic specifically relates to the use of such technologies. In which case, it must be expressly disclosed. A failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will be dealt with accordingly.
6. The adjudication panel’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
7. Judges Matter reserves the right not to award the prize if, in consultation with the adjudication panel, it is determined that entries are not of a suitable standard.
8. Judges Matter reserves the right to publish the winning essays in extract or in full on its and associated websites, social media pages and with the press.
9. Winners must accept the prize in writing and submit the necessary information to facilitate awarding of the prize.
10. Winners are expected to attend the prize-giving ceremony, which will be in person in Cape Town unless otherwise communicated.

For the Student Prize:

– The word limit is 3 500 words.
– Only students pursuing their studies at a registered university in South Africa are eligible.
– Students may be in any year of study but must be registered students at the time of submission of the entry.

For the Emerging Academic Prize:

– The word limit is 5 000 words.
– Only entries from full time academic staff at a university registered in South Africa are eligible.
– To qualify, an academic must be within three (3) years of appointment as a full time academic staff member at assistant lecturer, lecturer, or post/doctoral fellow ranks.
– The academic can be from any discipline.


Entries must be sent (with the front cover form attached) to info@judgesmatter.co.za and copy jmessay@uct.ac.za .

Queries may be sent to Mbekezeli Benjamin: mbekezeli@judgesmatter.co.za .

Closing date: Friday, 17 July 2023 at 17:00


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