Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies


The Journal’s top essay prize is named in honour of John D. Stevenson, Q.C., Partner Emeritus at Gowlings LLP in Toronto and a founding member of Smith Lyons Torrance Stevenson and Mayer, which merged with Gowlings in 2001. In a distinguished career spanning over forty years, John Stevenson combined a broad corporate practice advising business leaders, governments, and charitable organizations with his ongoing commitment to helping law students and young practitioners across Canada. The prize is awarded to the author of the top essay in each volume as selected by prize panellists.

Past Winners:


Think Tank, inaugurated in 2013, is a DJLS event designed to showcase students’ academic work, to give students a chance to present publicly, and to get feedback on their papers from an academic panel that may help guide the direction of their research. The student with the winning presentation receives a cash prize and the opportunity to publish their research in the next volume of the journal.

Past Winners:

  • 2020/21:
    • First Place: Michael Michel, "Mental Age v. Chronological Age: Rethinking our Approach to Sentencing and Criminal Responsibility for Developmentally Delayed Young Persons under the Youth Criminal Justice Act"
    • Runner Up: Rachel Nagy, "A Bend in the Arc: Contemplating Identity-based Labour Rights in Canada"
    • Runner Up: Jon Goud, "Drawing Back the Curtain: Justiciability, Disability, and Healthcare Accountability"
  • 2019/20:
    • First Place: Maria Rizzetto, “Defective umbrella? Examining non-consensual intimate image sharing within court reasoning”
    • Runner Up: Evan Cribb, “The Charter’s Proportionality Problem: Charting a Path to Distinguishing Sections 7 and 1”
    • Runner Up: Arthur Ferguson, “Remand in Nova Scotia: The myth of consent and pre-trial detention”