Sep 2018 2nd Edition

Essay competition tests innovative legal minds

Written by: Jauhara Khan
The country’s legal society is looking for budding law enthusiasts to share their ideas through an essay.

Law students with a passion for law reform could win R20 000 in the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC)’s Legal Essay writing competition.

Drawing on the inspirational legacy of Justice Pius Langa, the SALRC in partnership with sponsor Juta Law, is searching for young LLB and LLM students who have original and innovative ideas on issues pertaining to law reform in South Africa.

The competition encourages the critical legal writing of students, while generating new ideas for law reform. These ideas should be aligned to South Africa’s priorities as a developmental state, and is aimed at keeping the law abreast of developments in society while staying in tune with the needs of South Africa’s diverse population and national policy priorities.

The legal writing essay competition, which was originally named in honour of the first Chief Justice of the democratic era, Justice Ismail Mahomed, has been relaunched to honour a range of South African legal achievers.

From 2018, the competition will celebrate the contributions of legal luminaries. This year is dedicated to the late Chief Justice and Head of the Constitutional Court, Pius Nkonzo Langa.

How to enter

The competition is divided into two categories and is open to LLB and LLM students registered at a South African University or tertiary institution in any year of study. Abridged versions of completed Masters dissertations will also be accepted. PhD students are not eligible to enter.

Students must submit entries in English. The entries must be between 4 000 to 6 000 words long. Essays can be on any topic relating to the modernisation, improvement, development or reform of any aspect, area or branch of South African law.

Winners in the LLB and LLM categories win a R20 000 cash prize each. 

All entries must be submitted to the Assistant Secretary, South African Law Reform Commission, Private Bag X668, Pretoria, 0001, or email:

The closing date is 31st January 2019.

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