In line with ESIL’s goals of encouraging high-level scholarship, developing a greater awareness and understanding of international law, and promoting younger researchers, the ESIL Board decided to award the ESIL Young Scholar Prize (YSP) at each ESIL Annual Conference for an outstanding paper submitted and presented by an early-career scholar. The Prize was first awarded in 2015.

The Prize consists of two years’ free membership of the Society, plus a contribution towards the costs of travel and accommodation at the conference.

The winner of the ESIL Young Scholar Prize is announced in the conference programme and the Prize certificate is awarded during the conference dinner. The prize-winning paper will be published in the European Journal of International Law (subject to review).


ESIL is very grateful to Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Wilmer Hale), a global law firm, for their sponsorship of the Prize.


Eligibility conditions

This prize is awarded for the best paper submitted to the conference or to a pre-conference Interest Group panel by scholars at an early stage in their academic career. Early-career scholars are either PhD candidates or those who have had their oral defence no longer than 3 years prior to the submission of the abstract.

Candidates for the prize have to be ESIL members at the time of submitting their abstract. Co-authored articles will only be considered for the prize if all authors fulfil the eligibility criteria.

ESIL strongly encourages young scholars to apply for future conferences and compete for the Prize. The YSP jury consists of three ESIL members selected by the ESIL Board.


Previous Prize-winners: 

  • The 2017 Prize was awarded to Joshua Paine, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, for his paper ”Evaluating the Distinctive Contribution of International Adjudication as a Global Public Good”.

  • The 2015 Prize was awarded to Malcolm Langford, Postdoctoral Fellow, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and Pluricourts Centre of Excellence, University of Oslo, for his paper Managing Backlash: The Evolving Investment Treaty Arbitrator? (co-authored with Daniel Behn). 

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