Competition Rules 2020


The Michael Mustill Essay Prize was established in 2018 by The International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC), in association with St John’s College, Cambridge, to commemorate the life and work of Lord Mustill, one of the great figures of arbitration, recognised for his exceptional intellect, analytical rigour and unassailable independence.


1. The competition

 1.1 The Prize, to the value of £10,000 (together with a certificate signed by the President of the panel of judges), is awarded biennially to the winner of a competition for the best essay (in the English language) on any aspect of the law and practice of arbitration in England and Wales (including comparative or international law), as decided by the competition’s judges.

1.2 An entry must not exceed 6,000 words (excluding footnotes), written by a single author; and it must be original work not previously published (albeit not excluding the use of the student’s own prior work).

 1.3 Submissions may only be made online to: , as attached Word or readable PDF files, and must include the full name and contact coordinates of the author and details of his or her post-graduate course.

1.4 The author’s photo ID and a signed consent that the work may, at the judges’ discretion, be tested for plagiarism, must be attached to the essay.

1.5 The submission of a work by an author shall be regarded as that author’s acceptance of these rules.


2. Eligibility

The competition is open to all post-graduate students (who need not be lawyers or law students) on either taught courses or research courses, studying one or more forms of dispute resolution during the year of the competition, particularly any course relevant to the law and practice of international arbitration or arbitration in England and Wales, whether in the United Kingdom or abroad.


3. Deadline

The deadline for submissions for the 2020 competition is 15 January 2020.


4. Judges

With St John’s College, Cambridge, entries will be judged by at least three or more judges from a panel comprising Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Dyson, Sir Richard Aikens, Sir Jack Beatson, Stewart Boyd QC, Professor Zac Douglas QC, Professor Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Professor W.W. Park.


5. Winning entry

The winning entry will be chosen by a majority on the panel, or in the event of deadlock, by the President of the panel, provided that no winner may be declared and no prize awarded if the panel or the President (as the case may be) determines that no essay of sufficient merit has been submitted. The decision of the panel or the President will be made no later than June in the year of the competition, to be followed by a prize-giving ceremony at St John’s College, Cambridge on a date to be advised. The winner will be announced on the IDRC website ( The decision will be final, with no review or appeal.


6. Publication

The winning essay will be submitted for publication to Arbitration International (or an equivalent journal), as designated by IDRC in association with St John’s College. The decision whether to publish any essay will made by the editors and publisher of such journal at their sole discretion. Other submitted essays of significant merit may also be considered for publication, as designated by IDRC in association with St John’s College and at the sole discretion of the designated journal’s editors and publisher. For the purpose of such publication, the editors and publisher of the journal may edit any essay. By submitting an essay for this competition, each author gives the designated journal all rights, including express permission to publish the essay in all media without limitation and without any other notice.


7. Applicable Law and Amendments

7.1 These competition rules shall be governed by English law.

7.2 IDRC reserves the right to amend these competition rules for successive biennial competitions.