Best dissertation award

Since 2019, PLDH has been awarding a prize for the best dissertation on human rights. This prize is awarded by decision of the association’s Wise Persons Committee, and it rewards research work undertaken, in French or English, prior to the PhD in the past year. 

The contest rules are available on this page. Candidates are invited to read them before submitting their application form.

Applications must be submitted by e-mail, in accordance with the procedures indicated in the regulations, no later than 20 September 2020. 

Contest rules

Launch press release


These regulations apply to the contest “best dissertation award” organised by the association Plaider les droits de l’Homme. It can be updated from one edition of the Contest to another. Candidates are invited to read it before submitting their application. 

Article 1 – Purpose 

Plaider les droits de l’homme, an association subject to the local laws of Alsace-Moselle, located at Maison des associations, 1a place des Orphelins, 67000 Strasbourg, is organising a contest entitled “best dissertation award”. 

o The association Plaider les droits de l’homme is also referred to below as: “PLDH, the organiser” 

o The contest “participant” is also referred to below as: “the candidate, the student.” 

o The contest winner is also referred to below as: “the prize winner”.

o The “dissertation” is also referred to below as: “the work”.

The contest is intended to reward a dissertation that stands out for its interest in the effectiveness of rights, the quality of the reflection behind it, its adherence to the criteria of a research exercise, equally in terms of its legal soundness and possible originality or breadth of view. 

Article 2 – Participation conditions 

This contest is open to all natural persons over the age of majority who are residents of the European Union and who are enrolled in a graduate programme such as a Master’s degree or equivalent, or who have completed a Master’s degree or equivalent in one of the countries of the European Union. 

Only one entry per natural person and per edition of the contest is accepted during the entire duration of the relevant contest. 

A natural person may not submit the same work twice in different editions of the Contest. 

Members of PLDH as well as their family members are excluded from participating in the contest. 

Article 3 – Eligibility criteria for the dissertation 

This contest is intended to recognise a dissertation. For the purposes of this Contest, the term “dissertation” refers to research work prepared and undertaken in the context of a pre-doctoral educational programme, typically at the end of a Master’s degree (research or undifferentiated) or equivalent (5th year of legal studies). 

The dissertation must have been prepared as part of a course offered by a law faculty or by a Political Studies Institute, and deal with a subject falling within the disciplinary field of human rights. The term “Human Rights” should be understood as the rights protected by the main European and international protection texts or any other equivalent domestic text. In case of doubt, the term is left to the discretion of the jury that will designate the Contest winner. 

The dissertation must have been written under the direction of one or more dissertation or research supervisors, i.e. teachers in charge of monitoring the work of students on the basis of their recognised research qualifications. 

The work must be between 40 and 60 pages, excluding appendices, when presented in Arial font, single-spaced, character size 12. 

It can be written in English or French. 

Article 4 – Deadlines for application 

Under penalty of inadmissibility of the application, applications must be submitted by the dates indicated by the Wise Persons Committee on the PLDH website (

Article 5 – Contents of the application 

In order for the participation to be validated by the Organiser, the Candidate must submit an application that includes:
– a letter from the Dissertation director(s) authorising the Candidate to submit the dissertation to this Contest and indicating the mark awarded by the defence jury;
– a one-page presentation of the Dissertation written by the Candidate in French or English; 

– an up-to-date CV 
– the submitted Dissertation must have been defended before a jury in the year preceding the closing of the Contest. 

The Candidate must send the complete application to PLDH, electronically, to the address with the subject line “Application for the PLDH Prize”. 

Article 6 – Admissibility of the application 

The Organiser, after checking the validity of the application, informs the Candidate of the eligibility of her/his application. 

Any incomplete or erroneous application will be rejected, without resulting in liability on the part of PLDH. Any false statement by a Candidate will result in her/his exclusion from the Contest without resulting in any liability on the part of PLDH. 

The list of admissible applications is published on the PLDH website ( no later than fifteen days after the application deadline. 

PLDH reserves the right to disqualify an entry if it finds a virus, bug, violation of the contest rules, fraud, plagiarism, technical problems or any other cause beyond the control of PLDH that corrupts and affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity or conduct of the Contest by PLDH. 

Article 7 – Procedure for designating the Winner, composition and deliberation of the jury 

The contest jury consists of the members of the PLDH Wise Persons Committee. Its deliberations are held in camera and no minutes are available. The Jury’s decisions are final. 

The contest may be unsuccessful: the jury reserves the right not to award a prize if none of the received dissertations prove to be deserving of it. 

Article 8 – Announcement of results 

The results are announced no later than three months after the application deadline. 

Candidates receive an e-mail announcing the result. Independently of the publication of the dissertation and the interview with the Winner, the name of the latter is also published online. 

Article 9 – Nature of the prize 

The prize awarded to the Contest winner consists of:  

  • – Online publication of the winning dissertation on the association’s website ( with the mention “PLDH Prize” 
  • – An interview with the winner in a special episode of the podcasts produced by PLDH 

The winner may waive the benefit of the online publication of the Dissertation, both before and after the actual publication of the Dissertation on the PLDH website. 

The publication of the dissertation does not entail any transfer of the Winner’s rights regarding her/his work to the organiser or to the persons accessing it via the PLDH website. 

The winner may also waive the benefit of the interview, before or after the production of the PLDH podcast, as well as before or after its broadcast. 

This prize has no commercial value. It may not give rise to any dispute as to its nature or provisions, nor to the payment of any consideration of any kind whatsoever. 

Article 10 – Personal Data 

1. Identity of the data controller

The person responsible for the processing of personal data is Florence Benoît-Rohmer in her capacity as chairperson of the association:

2. Processing of personal data

In connection with this contest, the association does not collect any personal information without the user’s knowledge. Data are collected with the user’s prior consent and information. The data are processed in accordance with the purposes for which they were collected. The collected data are:

    – surname, first name, e-mail address

– education and training information (CV)

3. Data retention period

These data are kept for the strict duration of the contest and are deleted once the winner is chosen. The Winner’s data are deleted once the entire prize has been awarded or completed.

4. Rights of the data subject

In accordance with law n°78-17 of 6 January 1978 as amended and with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of personal data, you have the following rights regarding your data: right of access, right of rectification, right to erasure (right to be forgotten), right of opposition, right to limitation of processing, right of portability. You may also set guidelines for the storage, deletion and disclosure of your personal data after your death.
You may object to the processing of your personal data on legitimate grounds relating to your particular circumstances.

To exercise your rights, please send your letter to: 4T8 avocats 17 rue de Verdun in 67000 Strasbourg (France). Please enclose a copy of your ID. We advise you to send this letter by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt.
In the event of failure to comply with any of the above provisions, you have the right to file a complaint with the French Data Protection Authority (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés – CNIL). 

5. Data transfer
The association may transfer data to other countries of the European Union or to Switzerland, a country recognised by the European Commission as having an adequate level of data protection. This possible transfer takes place for the strict needs of the Contest, insofar as certain members of the Wise Persons Committee reside outside of France. 

6. Security measures
In view of technological developments, implementation costs, the nature of the data to be protected and the risks to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the association will implement all appropriate technical and organisational measures to guarantee the confidentiality of the collected and processed personal data and a security level that is appropriate to the risk. 

Article 11 – Exclusion conditions 

Participation in the Contest implies full and complete acceptance of the provisions contained in these rules without any reservation or precondition on the part of the Candidate. Failure to comply with these rules will result in the Candidate’s exclusion from the Contest, the pure and simple nullity of the Candidate’s involvement in the Contest and the awarding of the prize. 

In particular, any plagiarism is punishable by the Candidate’s exclusion from the Contest at any stage of the procedure. 

Any exclusion is indicated to the Candidate by e-mail from the Chairperson of the Association, who explains the reasons thereof. 

Update: July 2020