Conflict of Interest and Policy Guidelines for Awards Committees

Law and Society Association
Conflict of Interest and Policy Guidelines for Awards Committees

The following policy was approved the May 27, 2009 meeting of the LSA Board of Trustees:

The Law and Society Association gives a number of awards and prizes and it is important that conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts be avoided in the process of determining who should receive them. These guidelines should be followed.

1. Disclosure
Members should assess their individual situation and disclose any actual or potential conflict they might have. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of disclosure to the chair and/or committee.

2. Abstention/Recusal
Members of a prize committee should abstain from evaluating any work (or, in the case of the Kalven prize, body of work) by an individual from their academic department or research organization. Persons who have served as a series editor in which a submitted book or article appears should abstain from evaluating that work. It is not necessary for persons to abstain from evaluating works that they have reviewed for a publisher or journal, but this fact should be disclosed to the committee.

3. Withdrawal
Persons should withdraw from the prize committee if they are a relative of, spouse or partner of, or have (or have had) a significant personal or professional relationship that might cast doubt on their impartiality with someone who is a candidate for a prize. This includes but is not limited to a co authorship with the person within the preceding five years or an advisor/student relationship within the preceding ten years. Persons on a committee are not eligible for that committee’s prize. If they become nominated, they should withdraw or decline to be considered.

4. Disclosure and Use of Information
Members of prize committees should not make use of or publicize any confidential information learned through service on a committee.

Members of prize committees should not use or present results of unpublished scholarly research that they learn of through service on a prize committee, without necessary attributions and permissions.


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