The 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize has been set-up to draw attention to the professional challenges faced by legal practitioners and academics who work in fields in which issues relating to disability frequently arise. Generously supported by barristers’ chambers, 42 Bedford Row, the Essay Prize focuses on issues affecting people with a disability and the way in which these issues interact with family law. This year's essay title was:
In 2006 the Social Care Institute for Excellence reviewed existing research and found that “social workers and local authorities were less interested in supporting families with disabled members to stay together than in safe-guarding children’”.
How should the law balance the best interests of the child with the duty of states to eliminate discrimination against parents with a disability?
The Prize-Giving Ceremony for the 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize was held on Friday 5 February 2016. Essay-Prize judges included Tina Cook QC, leading family law barrister at 42 Bedford Row, Professor Jonathan Herring DM Wolfe-Clarendon and Fellow in Law at the University of Oxford.A panel of distinguished barristers and academics discussed the title of the essay and announced the competition winners. Third place was awarded to Jia Benjamin Mak (Balliol); second place was awarded to Vincent Ooi (Trinity); and first prize was awarded to Polly Calver (Brasenose).