How to apply

Interested in applying for the Walter Owen Book Prize? Please review the eligibility criteria and selection process information:

  • 1Books must be judged to be professionally invaluable to members of Canada’s Bar, Bench, and law academies.
  • 2Books must have been published in the two year-period preceding the awarding of the Prize (the 2022 Prize will be awarded to selected books published in 2020 or 2021).
  • 3The Prize is awarded in alternating years for books written in English (odd-numbered years) and in French (even-numbered years, including 2022).
  • 4Co-authors of books are acknowledged as nominees.

The Walter Owen Book Prize selection committee will give preference to first editions, unless a new edition offers an extensive and complete revision of the original work. Books of general interest, such as biographies of respected jurists, commissioned works and research in the context of law reform are less likely to be selected than works on topics of current interest or emerging relevance.


Application deadline


The deadline for submissions is March 2022 (date to be announced in Fall 2021). This year, we are only accepting French language submissions.


Selection process


The selection committee for the Walter Owen Book Prize consists of eminent lawyers, judges and academics appointed by The Canadian Foundation for Legal Research. The Chair of the selection committee receives all applications.

The Foundation announces the winning author(s) and the book’s title at the end of June each year.

Application requirements
  • Each application must contain a statement of 200 words or less that explains how the book meets the award’s criteria.
  • Each application must be e-mailed to the foreperson, John N. Davis at
  • If your application for the prize is shortlisted, you will be advised where to send one copy of the nominated book. (Publishers are usually happy to provide such copies.)
  • Submissions must be made with the author’s consent. At the end of the competition, the books will not be returned to the individuals or to the publishing companies that submitted them.
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