The 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) for a chance to win cash prizes.

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

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
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100

2024 Chernos Contest is OPEN!

Click “ENTER NOW” for step-by-step instructions on how to enter the contest.

Deadline is May 24, 2024!


About 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.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2023 Chernos Contest!

1st Place

Gabriella Paradis, 

Edmonton, AB

2nd Place

Matthew Cianchetti

Toronto, ON

3rd Place

Ella Knitter

Montreal, QC

Highly Recommended

Uthara Balakrishnan

Scarborough, ON

Highly Recommended

Gracelyn Yang

North York, ON