McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the Peter Mackell Chair in Federalism are proud to announce that the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism will be returning for a second edition in early 2019.

This prestigious bi-annual competition is made possible through the generous support of Rachel Baxter (BSc’84, BCL’88) and Colin Baxter (BCL’90, LLB’90), who both practice law in Ottawa.

The overarching goal of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism is to advance research and foster informed debate on federalism by young jurists (including law students, law PhD Candidates, junior legal scholars and junior lawyers) from around the world.

First-, second- and third-place winners will receive prizes of $5000, $3000, and $1000 respectively, awarded by an international jury. The three winners will be given the unique opportunity to present their papers at a Symposium in May 2019.

Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to any aspect of federal theory or practice, by January 14, 2019. Comparative angles to federalism are particularly encouraged.

Author eligibility

  • All law students, as well as PhD candidates, junior legal scholars or junior lawyers with five years of experience or less, from anywhere around the world.
  • To be eligible, authors must either
    • Be currently enrolled in a BCL, LLB, JD, LLM, DCL, or PhD program in law (or their local equivalents);
    • Hold a law degree and have obtained their most recent degree (in law or otherwise) after January 14, 2014;
    • Have been admitted to the Bar (or the local equivalent) after January 14, 2014.

Criteria for submission

  • Original text in English or in French;
  • Maximum of 8,000 words, including footnotes, for texts in English;
  • Maximum of 8,800 words, including footnotes, for texts in French;
  • Not yet submitted for publication as of January 14, 2019;
  • Written in 12 points font, double-spaced, with 2.5 cm margins on all sides;
  • Numbered in the upper right corner;
  • Submitted in MS Word format;
  • Include complete references, following the Canadian Guide to Legal Citation;
  • Introduced by a separate document that includes:
    • title
    • author’s name
    • contact information (email, phone, address)
    • statement affirming the eligibility for the competition (date of graduation)
    • unpublished status of the paper;
  • Include an abstract summarizing the main question and main conclusions (maximum 200 words).

Deadline for submission of Essays

January 14, 2019, at 12h00, Eastern Standard Time (Montreal time).

Submissions are to be emailed to Professor Johanne Poirier, Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism, at with “Baxter Competition” as the email subject line.



For more information, visit the official site by clicking here.