Wycombe Abbey Pupil wins Supreme Court Student Writing Competition
10 June 2021 - Academic
At the beginning of the Spring Term, Diana (LVI) penned an entry for the Supreme Court writing competition, aimed at encouraging those in the Sixth Form with a keen interest in law and the UK justice system to put their skills of persuasion to the test. We are delighted that Diana’s essay exploring whether the law has reached a fair balance between protecting the rights of individuals whilst still safeguarding society against crime and terrorism was judged to have won first prize.
Her excellent essay engaged with the question in a cogent and detailed way, and she wins not only a £100 book token but the chance to visit the Supreme Court and meet with Lord Reed, Justice of Supreme Court, once Covid-19 restrictions allow.
Below, Diana tells us why she wanted to participate in the competition.
I found this essay competition when I was researching the Supreme Court for my Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is about the impact of the Nuremberg War Trials on International Criminal Law. The question stood out to me because within my EPQ I had examined the balance between individual rights, state sovereignty and the power of international legal institutions such as the International Criminal Court. This question enabled me to examine a similar balance on a national basis. In particular, the questions reference to the relationship between law, individual rights and collective security piqued my interest. I also appreciated that all candidates received personal feedback from the Supreme Court Judicial Assistants no matter where they placed. The process of researching relevant cases and Statute as well as engaging with the opinions of the Justices of the Supreme Court was interesting and rewarding.
The Justices and Judicial Assistants said, “This is a really excellent essay that engages with the issues raised by the question in a cogent, sophisticated and detailed way. The argument presented is clear and very well supported by reference to authority, including past UKSC cases and even a very recent authority. Not only this, but the essay looks at the views expressed in dissenting judgments, considers how the different authorities can be contrasted and reconciled with one another and shows good awareness of the various different ways in which the UKSC has approached the critical task of ensuring a balance between both of the public interests raised by the question. The essay also included apposite mention of the Covid-19 pandemic by way of a topical analogy demonstrating that the same different public interests can be in tension in very different contexts. The essay is written in a very clear and lucid style.”