Essay Competition

Win publication in the Security and Human Rights Journal and an interview on the SHRM website in this Essay Competition on COVID-19 impact on Access to Justice in Europe! 🤯

During the pandemic, Courts were and still are closing, reducing, or adjusting their operations, which can negatively impact the provision of timely and fair hearings, contribute to increased case backlogs, and lead to increased length of judicial and administrative proceedings. Certain groups are especially affected by these changes. While there may be burdens, there are also many benefits and lessons to be learned from this pandemic and how it has impacted our judicial systems in Europe.

With many topics and perspectives available under the topic of the competition, we welcome all essays under the given subject, as far as they comply with the following rules:

– Deadline: 31 March 2021, at 23:59;
– Word count: 5000-6000;
– Font and layout: Times New Roman, size 12, 1.5 spacing, justified;
– Topic: Legal paper;
– Front page: includes full name, contact information, university and year of studies, and the topic of the paper, wordcount; 
– Other formalities: Must include footnotes and a bibliography using OSCOLA; must include an abstract that is about 10% of the length of the essay; must include a short introduction of the writer; and participants must be law students in one of the 44 countries where ELSA is present.

The best three (3) essays will be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed Security and Human Rights Journal, and the best (1) writer will receive the interview as an additional prize, and will get published on the SHRM website (
Submissions and questions can be sent to ELSA the Netherlands at The essays are shortlisted by ELSA the Netherlands based on the submission criteria, and judged by a panel of experts from the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (@nl.helsinkicommittee). Essays not fulfilling the above criteria will not be considered.

Good luck! 🍀