Bar Council 2015 Legal Reporting Awards

10 August 2015



The Bar Council's 2015 Legal Reporting Awards are now open to entries and £1,000 prize money on offer to the winners of each category.  Now in its 24th year, the competition is open to print, online and broadcast journalists in recognition of the media's role in civil society; helping the public to understand legal issues and holding authority to account.

The deadline for applications is Thursday 10 September. 

The judges are looking for news articles, features or programmes for TV or radio that promote an understanding of the law in the public interest. The winners of both print and broadcast categories will be announced and presented with their prizes at the Annual Bar Conference on Saturday 17 October 2015. Small cash prizes will also be awarded to those shortlisted.

Last year's winner in the broadcast category was Zoe Conway for her Newsnight report on indeterminate sentences whereby prisoners are held in jail until a parole board judges they no longer pose a risk. Zoe highlighted examples of prisoners sentenced to less than two years, but who have ended up serving nearly ten. Although abolished in 2012, there are still 5,500 prisoners serving such sentences and it will take an estimated 9 years to clear the backlog.

The print category was won by a trio of reporters writing for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Maeve McClenaghan, Melanie McFadyean, and Rachel Stevenson, for their report on joint enterprise in murder trials. Their investigative piece was the result of an 8 month investigation and highlighted for the first time the number of people serving very long sentences for being associated with other individuals and gangs who committed murder. The report pulled together ground-breaking research to make a compelling case for a review of the law.


Notes to editors:

Form information on how to enter the competition, please click here and for the required entry pro forma, please click here.

For further information please call the Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 or email

Previous winners include: 


1991 Joshua Rozenberg

1992 Jon Silverman

1993-4 Marcel Berlins

1994-5 Jon Silverman

1995-6 Marcel Berlins

1996-7 BBC Current Affairs

1997-8 Kent Barker

1998-9 Mark Whitaker

1999-00 Joshua Rozenberg - Special Award

2000-01 Jon Silverman

2001-02 Jon Silverman

2002-03 Above the Title productions Ltd

2003-04 Mark Easton & Channel 4 News

2004-05 Channel 4 News

2005-06 More4 News

2006-7 Danny Shaw, BBC

2007-8 Clive Coleman, BBC

2008-9 Joshua Rozenberg, BBC

2009-10 Laurie Taylor and Charlie Taylor, BBC

2010-11 Lucy Bailey and Laura Lynch, BBC

2011-12 Danny Shaw, BBC

2012-13 Brian King, Above the Title

2013-14 Zoe Conway, BBC


1991 John Carvel

1992 Duncan Campbell

1993-4 Frances Gibb

1994-5 Stephen Ward

1995-6 Roger Smith

1996-7 Clare Dyer

1997-8 Danny Shaw

1998-9 Linda Tsang

1999-00 Jean Eaglesham

2000-01 Joshua Rozenberg

2001-02 Robert Verkaik

2002-03 Grania Langdon-Down

2003-04 Mary Riddell

2004-05 Jon Robins

2005-06 Frances Gibb

2006-7 Mary Riddell

2007-8 James Lewis

2008-9 Jonathan Rayner

2009-10 Claire Ruckin

2010-11 Caroline Binham

2011-12 Owen Bowcott and Maya Wolfe-Robinson

2012-13 Owen Bowcott and Maya Wolfe-Robinson

213-14 Maeve McClenaghan, Melanie McFadyean, and Rachel Stevenson


The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services
  • Fair access to justice for all
  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and
  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad. 

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board.