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VdAcademia International Award





Article 1

(Duty to promote scientific research and the international approach)

1 – Vieira de Almeida & Associados, Sociedade de Advogados,S.P., RL (“VdA”), through VdAcademia, a training entity duly certified, and in partnership with Almedina Group (“Almedina”),  created the VdAcademia Award (hereinafter “Award”) for the purpose of promoting scientific research, which VdA deems to be one of its duties as a law firm.

                2 – The VdAcademia Award is publicized in Portugal and in other Portuguese speaking countries as well as in countries members of Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (“OHADA”).


Article 2

(VdAcademia Award)

1 – The Award is granted annually, through a competition intended to reward the author of the best essay on the proposed theme.

2 – The subject matter of the essays is announced on the websites www.vdacademia.pt, www.almedina.net and through Universities until March of the year of the Award.

3 – The value of the VdAcademia Award is € 3.000,00 (three thousand euros) for the best rated essay or, if granted ex aequo to two or more authors, € 2.000,00 (two thousand euros) each.

4 – Honourable Mentions may be granted up to the maximum of 2 (two), in the value of € 1.000,00 (one thousand euros) each.


Article 3


1 – VdAcademia and Almedina reserve the right to accept sponsors for the Award.

2 – The value of any sponsorship, if pecuniary, shall accrue to the amount of the Award and of the Honourable Mentions, pro rata the respective value of each.

3 – The existence of sponsorships shall be announced on the websites www.vdacademia.pt and www.almedina.net. 



Article 4

(Admission criteria)

1 – Any students enrolled in a law degree or in the first stage of a masters law degree in universities located in Portugal, in other Portuguese speaking countries or in countries members of OHADA or enrolled in VdAcademia’s partner foreign universities may apply for the Award.

2 – Students mentioned in the previous number which are attending the abovementioned universities under the ERASMUS programme may also apply.

3 – Only one essay per candidate will be admitted, with up to two candidates being able to be co-authors of one essay.

4 – A candidate may enter the contest in several editions, even if previously awarded, but no essay shall be admitted more than once.

5 – The essays shall be written in Portuguese, French or English language, and shall be unpublished, not having been entered into any other contest, academic or otherwise nor having been included in any master reports or similar, in relation to any post-graduate courses.


Article 5

(Submission of the Essays)

1 – Candidates must submit their essays until 31 May in the year of the Award, through an online application using the form available at www.vdacademia.pt or by sending the form to vdacademia@vda.pt, in Word and .PDF versions, or by courier to Avenida Duarte Pacheco, n.º 26, 1070-110, Lisboa, at the attention of VdAcademia, in which case the essay must be enclosed in a closed envelope containing all documents mentioned in no. 4, a CD-ROM with a copy of the essay in digital format and two copies of the essay. 

2 – The essay, including the text of the essay and footnotes, excluding the cover page, the index and the bibliography, may not exceed 25,000 characters (without spaces). The text of the essay must be written in “Calibri” font, size 11, with line spacing of 1.5. Footnotes shall have the same font and spacing, with font size 10. An abstract of 250 words maximum shall be provided.

3 – As a generic guideline, the essays should have the same structure: index, introduction, development, conclusion and bibliography.

4 – Whenever the essay is to be delivered by courier, candidates must also enclose the duly filled application form, available at www.vdacademia.pt.


Article 6


1 – The Jury shall be formed by up to 5 members, one of which shall preside, all such members being appointed annually by the Scientific Council of VdAcademia.

2 – The Jury may be formed by individuals unrelated to VdA and to Almedina.

3 – The decisions of the Jury will not be subject to appeal.


Article 7

(Evaluation and classification)

1 – In granting the Award and the Honourable Mentions, the jury shall have regard to the scientific quality of the essay, the consistency of ideas and speech, to the relevant investigation effort, to literary perfection and to presentation of the essays.

2 – No grades will be attributed to the essays. The jury will select the best essay or the best essays ex aequo and, if applicable, those to which honours shall be awarded.


Article 8

(Admission and decision on the essays)

1 – The Jury shall exclude the essays which:

a) Are submitted after the deadline;

b) The subject matter is different from the proposed theme;

c) Do not comply with the requirements set out in this Regulation;

d)  The author, or relevant application, does not comply with the requirements and formalities set out in this Regulation.

2 – Plagiarism shall be penalised with the annulment of the relevant essay.

3 – The Jury will resolve on the awarded essays until July 31st of the year of the Award.

4 – In the event that the admitted essays lack sufficient merit, the Jury may decide not to grant the Award.

Article 9

(Announcement and delivery of the Award)

1 – The Jury will announce its decision as to the awarded essays on the VdA website until 30 September of the year of the Award and will give personal notice to the awarded candidate(s) and written notice to all others.

2 – Delivery of the Awards shall take place in a ceremony to be conducted at a venue selected by VdAcademia, until the end of the year to which the Award relates.


Article 10

(Publication and disclosure of the essays)

1 – The author(s) of awarded essays authorise VdAcademia to carry out publication of such essays on the websites www.vda.pt or elsewhere, and/or to distribute them to people, companies or public entities.

2 – Almedina reserves the right to propose to VdA and to the author(s) of awarded essays its publication, digital or on paper, namely within Vieira de Almeida & Associados Collection. The number of copies of the published essay shall be determined by VdAcademia and Almedina having regard to the subject matter and the respective market interest. No copyright is due to the author(s) on the sales price of the published essay. 20 and 10 copies of the published essay shall be offered to the author and to VdA, respectively.

3 - The author(s) of awarded essays authorise VdAcademia and Almedina, at the latters’ discretion, to disclose their essays to the media. 

4 – The author(s) of awarded essays will assist VdAcademia and Almedina in all steps necessary to carry out the actions foreseen in the previous numbers.

5 – VdAcademia shall give prior notice to the author(s) of awarded essays of the options taken by VdAcademia with regard to the distribution, publication and disclosure of the said essays.





Article 11

(Amendments to the Regulation)

1 – This Regulation may be amended by VdAcademia and Almedina.

2 – Any amendments to this Regulation which are inserted following the beginning of the deadline for the presentation of the essays shall not be applicable to that edition of the Award.


Article 12

(Clarifications and omissions)

1 – The candidates may request clarifications to the rules of the competition from VdAcademia, through the e-mail address vdacademia@vda.pt. 

2 – Any clarifications shall be rendered by the Scientific Council of VdAcademia, which will also be responsible for dealing with any doubts or omissions arising out of this.




“VdAcademia International Award” Application Form


Personal   Data and Contacts



Date of Birth:










Academic   Experience

Currently   attending year:


University/College   of Law Degree


University/College   of Master in Law Degree:


Current   or final average grade of Law Degree:


Professional   Experience / Motivation Letter









Originality Statement


I, _____________________, declare on my honour that the attached essay is the result of an investigation that I have carried out myself and acknowledge that said essay shall be withdrawn from consideration in case ideas or words by other authors are used without proper identification or authorisation.

[location], [date]


[signature as on identification document]


Treatment of personal data


The data gathered by means of this form shall be processed and stored both in paper and in dematerialised form. Vieira de Almeida e Associados, Sociedade de Advogados, S.P., RL (“VdA”) is the entity responsible for the treatment of such personal data.


Supplied information shall be treated and used for the purpose of evaluation in relation to the Award, and may also be used for recruitment purposes and in order to weigh the possibility of collaboration between the subject of the data and VdA.


The fields in the table above may not be left blank. Failure to supply the data required shall cause the relevant essay to be excluded from consideration, and will make it impossible to weigh possibility of collaboration between the subject of the data and VdA.


VdA may relay your data to subcontracted companies for the aforementioned purposes.


Within the terms of the applicable legislation, the subject hereof is granted the right to access, correct and update its personal data, by means of a written request to be submitted to VdAcademia by email to vdacademia@vda.pt.