Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize 2019

Following his death in January 2018, the Henry Brooke Essay Prize seeks to honour the legacy of Sir Henry Brooke, a former Court of Appeal judge who became a tireless campaigner during retirement on issues including access to justice. His post-judicial renown owed much to his enthusiastic adoption of digital technology; many came to know of him through his blog and tweets. He drafted significant sections of the Bach Commission’s final report on access to justice, and also acted as patron to a number of justice organisations including the Public Law Project, Harrow Law Centre and Prisoners Abroad.

The Henry Brooke Essay Prize is a scheme conceived by Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). We are grateful for the Public Law Project for its encouragement, and to our sponsor 39 Essex Chambers for its generous donation of prize money.


Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize 2019

"Technology has the capacity to enhance, empower and automate, but it also has the potential to exclude vulnerable members of society" – Sir Henry Brooke, September 2017

Discuss, with examples, how technology can be used to advance access to justice in the UK.

£100 cash prize for the winning entry

Enter by 1st May 2019



The competition is open to all current and prospective law students, paralegals, trainee solicitors and pupil barristers. You will still be eligible if you are currently between stages and intend ultimately to pursue a career in law.



Entries should be a maximum of 1,500 words, including footnotes. Entries will be rejected if they do not address the subject of the title, or exceed 1,500 words.

The winning essays will be chosen by a panel of distinguished judges. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.



The winner of the 2019 Henry Brooke Memorial Prize will receive a £100 cash prize. The second place winner will receive £50 and two runners-up will each receive £25 worth of book tokens. Winners will be announced at YLAL London’s July meeting and online, on YLAL’s website and through its social media channels.



Essays must be submitted by 5pm on 1st May 2019 to



  • Entries should be typed and should not exceed 1,500 words (including footnotes). You do not need to provide a bibliography.
  • Please use 1.5 line spacing, Justified text alignment, Arial 11pt for the text and Arial 10pt for the footnotes.
  • Please use UK English spelling (but do not change alternative spellings in quoted materials etc). Please be consistent. Foreign words or short phrases that are not commonly used in English should be italicised.
  • Footnote numbers should be placed after a full stop or other punctuation, not before. Footnotes should be at the foot of each page, not at the end of the text. Harvard Referencing should be used.
  • Numbers under 10 should be spelled out. Abbreviations are acceptable in footnotes as long as you are consistent.
  • Please make sure that your final copy can easily be opened as a Word document and does not have any restrictions placed on it in terms of access.
  • Please don’t put your name in the text of the entry.
  • Submit your entry before the deadline to with a cover email giving your full name, address, email and daytime telephone contact number, your eligibility to enter the contest and the word count for your entry.


We look forward to receiving your entries!