Law alumnus awarded Yorke Prize from University of Cambridge

Saturday 9 June 2012, 11:35AM
By Victoria University

A Victoria University law alumnus and former Faculty member has won the Yorke Prize at Cambridge University.

Jason Varuhas joins three other New Zealanders with connections to Victoria who have earned the coveted prize: Richard Maclaurin (the first Dean of Law); Robin Cooke and Paul McHugh.

The Yorke Prize is awarded annually by the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge for an essay on a legal subject, including the history, analysis, administration and reform of law "of exceptional quality, which makes a substantial contribution to its relevant field of legal knowledge”. Jason was awarded the prize for his PhD thesis: "Damages for Breaches of Human Rights: A Tort-Based Approach".

Jason graduated from Victoria’s Faculty of Law in 2004 with an LLB Honours, also completing a BA in Economics that year. During his time as a student, he was a public law tutor and a legal research and writing tutor. He then worked as a Judge’s Clerk at the Court of Appeal for the Honourable Justice O’Regan before returning to the Faculty as an Assistant Lecturer in 2006.

With the help of a Commonwealth Scholarship, he went to University College London to study for an LLM. There he was awarded the University of London Derby/Bryce Prize in Law, which goes to the candidate who achieves the best results in the final examinations for the LLM degree across the Law Schools of the University of London.

In 2008 he was awarded the New Zealand Law Foundation’s Cleary Memorial Prize for the young barrister or solicitor adjudged as giving the most promise of service to, and through, the New Zealand legal profession.

Since then, he completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, spending six months at Yale University as a Fox International Fellow during the course of his doctoral studies. Jason is currently a research fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge and affiliated lecturer in the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law. He is presently working on a book based on his PhD thesis, which is to be published by Hart Publishing, Oxford, in 2013.

"Jason Varuhas is an example of the quality of student this Faculty nurtures," says Dean of Law Professor Tony Smith. “It gives us great pleasure to see his success, which is, I am sure, only beginning for him.”

The Yorke Fund was endowed in 1873 by the will of Edmund Yorke, alumnus of Rugby School, scholar and later Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, London.