In furtherance of its educational aims, the Ecclesiastical Law Society awards a number of academic prizes

Eric Kemp Prizes

The Society may award a prize on any university degree course which contains a significant element relating to ecclesiastical law, to the student producing the best performance in the subject for the year. From 2010, these prizes have been named in honour of the Rt Revd Dr Eric Kemp (1915 – 2009), Bishop of Chichester and a distinguished canon lawyer, who was the first President of the Society.

Course Directors of subjects which are eligible for the award of an Eric Kemp prize are invited to seek recognition of their course from the Society for the award of a prize. Recognition has been given for relevant modules on the LLB degrees at Bangor, Cardiff, Oxford Brookes, Durham and Newcastle. Eligible courses may be particularly concerned with the ‘religious law’ of the Church of England and of other Christian churches. However, courses giving more general treatment to law and religion will also be favourably considered, provided they contain significant elements of ecclesiastical law.

Application should be made to the Society Administrator from whom more information may be obtained. Course directors who apply should provide copies of their course syllabus and names of staff who will be teaching the subject. Where a prize is to be awarded, the course director is asked to provide, as soon as possible after the examination results are available, the name and address of the candidate nominated by the appropriate university authority as having produced the best performance in the year. The course director is also asked to provide the numbers of students who took the course and the names and addresses of other students obtaining first class marks. Notice should be given of any alterations in the syllabus and of teachers for the following year.

The ELS is the one of the leading scholarly societies dealing with important legal matters to do with States and Churches. It gives succinct and wide-ranging commentaries on such subjects as constitutional, European and domestic law as they affect Church bodies and achieves a consistently high standard of presentation, conferences and the latest academic developments in this public, comparative and ecumenical field.

The Revd James Campbell, S. J.

Tutor in Canon Law, Campion Hall, University of Oxford

2022 Kemp Prize

Congratulations to Erin Carus from Oxford Brookes university, winner of the Eric Kemp prize for 2022. The winning essay was titled “Should any beliefs be excluded from protection as religious beliefs because of their content?” 

Dissertation prizes

To reflect increased awareness of the place of Religion in Contemporary Society and the rapidly growing scholarly literature on the legal implications of Religion, the Society offers a national prize for the best dissertation on a relevant topic written for their degree assessment by an undergraduate in law or another subjects

“The dissertation must be relevant to the study of Ecclesiastical Law but may be on any subject concerned with the interrelation of Law, State and Church, in England or in relation to the Anglican Communion. Comparative studies considering the law relevant to other faiths will be eligible provided substantial treatment is given to Christianity”.

Applicable topics could be found, for example, in: Constitutional Law, Employment Law, Human Rights, Family Law or Charity Law. In fact most subjects taught in an LLB course will include a relevant aspect or link.

To be eligible, a dissertation must be of at least 9,500 words

Applicants must submit their dissertations by 1 September of the year in which they graduate.