student contests

COVID-19 notice: The Chernos contest on limits to rights and freedoms is a ready-made online assignment for grade 9-12! We have extended the deadline for submission to June 10, 2020.

Chernos  Contest

Each year, the CCLA presents a nation-wide high school contest to commemorate the work of Bernard Chernos. Student entries address one of the fundamental freedoms questions posed by us each year (often issues the CCLA itself is working on), examining different civil liberties implications, and applying a ‘reasonableness’ analysis. Entries can be submitted either as essays or as ‘video rants’ (in the style of Rick Mercer, one of Canada’s most famous political humorists).

The Chernos Contest makes a great ready-made assignment for a wide range of high school courses!

Chernos Contest finalists are selected by CCLA lawyers and educators, then judged by a panel of legal scholars, and civil liberties and human rights educators from across the country.

Winners receive certificates and prizes:

  • 1st place: $500 + book
  • 2nd place: $150 + book
  • 3rd place: $100 + book
Bernard Chernos

Bernard Chernos was a civil libertarian, lawyer and a lover of lively debate. He graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Toronto as a gold medalist in 1957. In more than 40 years of practice, Mr. Chernos never lost his passion for the academic aspect of law.

This contest has been generously funded by the Chernos Family in memory of the great Bernard Chernos.

2020 Chernos Contest

All new cutting edge rights and freedoms questions! Deadline is June 10, 2020. Click here for this year’s instructions, questions, and to submit your entry.


2019 Chernos Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Chernos Contest!

  • 1st prize: Vivian Zhang (Vancouver)
  • 2nd prize: Donna Yim (Toronto)
  • 3rd prize: Priyanka Jayaratnam (Brampton)
  • Highly commended: Eric Whitaker (Toronto)