The Law, Science, and Technology Program is holding an essay competition for current University of Queensland undergraduate law students. The goal of the competition is to provoke innovative thinking on the ways that the law must adapt in order to accommodate and regulate new and emerging scientific discoveries and technological innovations.

Length: 4,000 words
Prize: $250 prize money
Applications have closed


For better or worse, the law plays an important role in many areas of science, technology, and engineering: it impacts on the provision of research materials, on the research that occurs in the laboratory and the field, and the way that the results of that research are adopted and used. In some instances, legal arrangements promote scientific and technical developments. In other situations, legal-regulatory schemes restrict research, and the uptake and use of the results of that research. The aim of this essay competition is to encourage students to explore the growing intersection of law with science, technology, and engineering in order to understand the exciting opportunities and challenges currently facing lawyers and scientists alike.

Essays may address any issue relevant to the theme of law, science, and technology. Essays may wish to consider the legal regulation of: Weapons · Nanotechnology · Synthetic Biology · Blockchain · Autonomous Systems · Artificial Intelligence · Biotechnology · 3D Printing · Climate Change · Internet Jurisdiction · Cyber Crime · Cyber Warfare · Data Retention · Cloud Computing · Privacy · The Right to be Forgotten · Online Defamation · E-Commerce · E-Courts · Computer Forensics and Evidentiary Issues · Digital Copyright · Hacking · The Effects of New Technology on the Legal Profession

Who can enter

Entry is open to UQ undergraduate law students who are enrolled on the date of submission (1st October 2018).

Essay criteria

The winning essay will be chosen at the discretion of the judging panel, with regard to the following criteria:
1. Only one essay per person may be submitted;
2. Essays must relate to the theme of ‘law, science, and technology;’
3. Essays must be the original work of the author;
4. Previous university assessment may be entered;
5. Essays must be previously unpublished;
6. Any plagiarism will be treated strictly such that the essay will be automatically ineligible for the competition;
7. Essays must be within the word limit exclusive of footnotes for citation purposes. No annexures or attachments will be accepted;
8. Please give your essay a title;
9. Submissions will be electronic only. The completed essay must be emailed as a PDF and Word document attachment to by the deadline;
10. Entries must be in 12 point type. The font must be Times New Roman;
11. No personal identifiers should be included on the essay itself;
12. Late submissions will be disregarded;
13. The text of the email should include:

a. Your full name;
b. Your phone number;
c. Your preferred email address;
d. The title of your essay;
e. Your essay’s word count.

14. Essays will be evaluated on criteria including original thought and analysis.
15. The judges’ determinations will be final.