Authors must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand at the time of submission (but need not be living in Australia or New Zealand at that time).

A person may not submit more than one entry (whether alone or with other authors). An entry may not have more than two authors.

A person is not eligible for the prize in 2020 if they have won any part of the BFSLA’s research essay prize (whether alone or jointly) in any of the previous five years.

Members of the Board of the BFSLA, and persons engaged by the Board to assist in the assessment of entries, are not eligible to enter. The competition is otherwise open to all, including students, academics and practitioners (whether in private practice, in-house or at the bar), whether full time, part-time or retired.


Entries must comply with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed. 2018). They must not be more than 10,000 words in length (excluding reasonable footnoting).

Entries must be the author’s original work and be unpublished at the time of submission and must remain unpublished until the competition results are announced unless the Board agrees otherwise.

By submitting an entry, each author agrees that, should they win a prize with the entry, they will grant the BFSLA a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to publish the entry, or excerpts from it, on the BFSLA’s website, and to use the entry and the author’s name in marketing material to promote the BFSLA and its objects.

The BFSLA may also propose that winning entries, and other entries worthy of publication, be submitted for publication in the Journal of Banking and Finance Law and Practice (Thomson Reuters, in conjunction with the BFSLA), but authors are not obliged to accept that proposal.

The process 

Entries will be reviewed on a blind basis, by the Board or by a committee appointed by the Board for this purpose.

Entries must be submitted by 5.00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday, 31 July 2020 to 2020researchprize@bfsla.org. To facilitate the blind review process, entries must not include any information that might identify the authors. Instead, that information should be supplied in the entry form that is available below, which you should submit with your paper.

Entries must be submitted in Word format. Consistent with practice at tertiary institutions, all entries will be processed through the Turnitin anti-plagiarism software.

If all or a substantial part of an entry has been previously submitted for assessment as part of tertiary studies, you must tell us which institution and for which subject (and the title of the work so submitted) and authorise the Association to check with the relevant institution that the author of both works is the same person.

The winner or winners, if any, will be announced by publication on the Association’s website on Friday, 4 September 2020.

The Board may decide not to award a prize, to award a prize to more than one entry, or to award all or only part of the prize pool, as the Board sees fit.

Assessment criteria

Entries should explore an important issue of banking and finance law and/or practice (including in relation to insolvency) that is currently topical in Australia or New Zealand. They should display a high degree of legal scholarship and original thinking, and be of a standard, as regards both content and presentation, that is suitable for publication in a refereed law journal. Entries that simply summarise the current law are unlikely to be successful.

Stylistic matters such as the economy and precision of language, and the ease of comprehension, will also be taken into account in assessing entries.

Entries are expected to be properly researched and to include appropriate footnoting. Footnotes should be reasonable in number and content, and should not be used to address substantive issues.


If you have any further questions about the 2020 research prize, please email Julia Clancy at 2020researchprize@bfsla.org

Download Entry Form