How to apply

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

  • 1A book, substantial in nature, which is an entirely new work (or a previous title’s complete revision), assessed by the Prize Jury to contribute to current Canadian legal literature by enhancing the quality of legal research in Canada and being highly valued by law practitioners, academics and the judiciary.
  • 2Books must have been published in the two year-period (2021 and 2022) preceding the awarding of the Prize,
  • 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 submissions 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 19 May 2023. This year, we are only accepting English 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 will announce the winning author(s) and their books by 02 April 2024.

Application requirements
  • Submissions must comprise one copy of a book accompanied by a statement of 200 words or less explaining how the book meets the Prize eligibility requirements.
  • Submissions must be made with the consent of the author or co-authors. At conclusion of the competition, the books will not be returned to the individuals or to the publishing companies that submitted them.
  • Submissions must be sent to the attention of the Jury Chair, Professor John N. Davis, Professor Emeritus, York University.
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