Our Annual Student Prize

The UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law) launches a student essay competition every November. This gives students the opportunity to explore and research an area of the law that would not typically come up in their taught legal studies. The competition is open to students at all stages of study, and the winning entry is published in The UK Journal of Animal Law, our peer reviewed publication.

2018 Competition

The title of our 2018 competition is, “Consider whether animal welfare legislation should be extended to include decapods.” Decapod crustaceans, such as lobsters, crayfish, and crabs are not protected by animal welfare legislation in the UK. However, scientific evidence strongly suggests decapods are capable of feeling pain. A-law has chosen this question after the launch of Crustacean Compassion's campaign to have decapods included in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Please consult the guidelines and prize-winner information below if you would like to enter. Send your entries to studentgroup@alaw.org.uk.

2017 Competition

The title of our 2017 competition was, “Boycotting dogs bred in puppy farms will increase these dogs’ suffering further and therefore cannot be justified. Discuss.” Puppy farming is a topical issue at the moment in the UK, and it is one of the areas we are focusing on in our project work. We received a number of fantastic entries, and we are pleased to announce this year's winners are:

  • 1st Prize: Chris Sangster
  • 2nd Prize: Marcia Hagon
  • 3rd Prize: Robyn-Florence James

2016 Competition

Our 2016 competition saw students address the title, '“The Hunting Act 2004 has been a useless piece of legislation and therefore should be repealed.” Discuss.' The Hunting Act 2004 has received broad public support sinces its enactment. However, the legislation remains unpopular amongst advocates of hunting and some farmers. Debate continues about whether or not hunting with dogs should be permitted. Congratulations to our winners, who all submitted fantastic entires:

  • 1st Prize: Natalie Kyneswood
  • 2nd Prize: Grace Wright
  • 3rd Prize: Emily Au

Essay competition guidelines

Details of our 2018 competition will be announced in November. If you would like to enter, the following guidelines will apply:


Word Document


Students at any stage of their studies from any country


5pm on the last Friday of February

Winners announced


Word Limit

1,500 (excluding footnotes and references, which are unlimited)


Should be as follows: author (year), Title, publisher, place, page number


Please provide a list of references at the end of the essay as follows: author (year), title, publisher, place


Essays must be the student’s own work and a student will be instantly disqualified for plagiarism


1st prize

Published article in A-Law Journal and £150 book vouchers.

2nd prize

£70 book vouchers.

3rd prize

£30 book vouchers.


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