Peter Cane Prize 2024

The next Peter Cane Legal Reasoning will take place in March 2024. More details will be released on this webpage in January 2024.

What does the Peter Cane Prize involve?

The Peter Cane Legal Reasoning Prize promotes legal reasoning: the ideas, concepts, calculations, and structures which lawyers use to engage with the law. In particular, it engages with four key parts of legal reasoning, represented by the instruction “Understand. Analyse. Communicate. Persuade?” The implication is that persuasion, if it is to be done, should only be done on the back of understanding, analysis and careful communication. This written competition focuses on the first of three of these aspects: understanding a legal text, analysing it and communicating that analysis. It is open to current Year 12 and Year 13 students (or equivalent), from all backgrounds and all walks of life. 

Once submitted, the Law tutors at Corpus read and mark the competition pieces. Once marked, those pieces who had been given a 'Highly Commended' grade, as well as the runner(s) up and the winner are invited to spend the afternoon at Corpus Christi College, where attendees are given a college tour, lunch, take part in a Law workshop, and attend the prize giving part of the day.

The day usually coincides with the Law Faculty Taster Day, which the Peter Cane Prize attendees will be able to attend in the morning. Attending and submitting work to the Peter Cane Prize is free. 

Peter Cane Prize 2023

The Peter Cane Prize Giving Day took place on Tuesday 14th March 2023. We welcomed 13 attendees who had received 'Highly Commended' certificates for their work to the College, as well as our two runners up, Harry Fairfield and Joana Shishkova, and our winner, Gavin Wong.

Congratulations to Gavin, Joana, and Harry! And many thanks to all those who participated and sent in their essays.

The History of the Peter Cane Prize

The prize was launched in 2017 and seeks to promote engagement with the ideas and reasoning behind law and legal studies, and particular to encourage those from all backgrounds and walks of life to apply to engage with the academic study of law. The prize is named after the distinguished lawyer, Professor Peter Cane, an internationally acclaimed scholar of legal theory, obligations and public law, and Corpus’ first dedicated law fellow. Each year, the final shortlisted candidates are invited to attend an afternoon event hosted by Corpus Christi, with legal workshops and an award ceremony. The Prize is open to all Year 12 and Year 13 students (or equivalent). You can see the sample question and the sample answers:

Sample answer 1

Sample answer 2

Sample answer 3