Turnbull Human Rights Essay


The Times Student Law Advocacy Competition:

Trolls, instrusive advertising and surveillance: a debate is growing about the need for the protection of our privacy.

The digital revolution of the past two decades has transformed our lives. But the promise of a communications Utopia has now turned sour in a bleak landscape of trolls, intrusive advertising and Big Brother surveillance.

So the question for entrants to this year’s Times Student Advocacy competition sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills is: “Do we need a new Magna Carta for the digital age?”

The competition is open to all students registered with a UK academic institution, with prizes on offer worth £6,500.

Click here for more information on how to enter.

Deadline: 22nd July.

The British Library: My Digital Rights

Who is watching us when we’re online? Should governments monitor our movements on the Web? Should trolling be made illegal? Do we need an equivalent Magna Carta or a new bill of rights to protect the future of the internet?

Magna Carta: My Digital Rights is a new national schools programme inviting Secondary and FE students and teachers to consider their rights and responsibilities online.

Use the British Library’s free classroom resources, and share your thoughts with the world by uploading your students’ clause to our Magna Carta for the digital age. Deadline: 1st June.

Click here for more information


The J.C. Holt Undergraduate Essay Prize.

The Magna Carta Project invites entries for the J.C. Holt prize for the best undergraduate essay on Magna Carta. The prize for the winning entry will be £250, to be awarded at the project’s conference at King’s College London/British Library, 17-19 June 2015.

Entries must be written by a current undergraduate student. They should address one of these questions, be between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length (inclusive of footnotes), and include a bibliography. In answering the question, entrants might choose to consider the original issue of Magna Carta in 1215, the Charter’s subsequent issues and/or the Charter’s later history. The judges will be looking for rigour of argument, clarity of expression and engagement with both primary sources and secondary literature. Entries should be emailed in PDF format to [email protected] no later than 1 March 2015.

Click here for more information.

The English Speaking Union: My Magna Carta

My Magna Carta is an international creative essay competition for 11 to 18 year olds to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. Young people in the UK and across the ESU’s member countries in the Commonwealth and across the world are invited to create their very own Magna Carta for the 21st century. The competition is also open to entrants from other Commonwealth countries.

Taking the Magna Carta as their source document, the world’s youth are tasked with presenting a new document that safeguards and promotes the rights, privileges and liberties of either their own country or the whole world. As in the original document, entrants will need to give particular thought to the powers of presidents, prime ministers and monarchs that need to be limited. Entrants will be encouraged to draw lessons from recent national and international events.

Deadline: 12pm (midnight), 5th May.

Click here for more information.

The Graham Turnbull human rights essay compeition

This competition, hosted by the Law Society, is named after English solicitor Graham Turnbull who did much to promote respect for human rights. Entrants are asked to answer the following:

‘The roots of many of our basic rights go back to the Magna Carta whose 800th Anniversary is being celebrated in 2015. Given this important legacy, to what extent would proposals to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights impact on the protection of human rights in the UK and around the world?’

The competition is open to all current or prospective law students, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and all solicitors and barristers, within three years of admission/call at the closing date.

Essays due 6pm Friday 13th February.

Click here for more information.

Magna Carta in New Zealand

On 16th March, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson launched the Magna Carta 800 Essay Competition for New Zealand students, to recognise the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. The competition has both a High School and University category and is open to all current New Zealand secondary and tertiary students.

Essays must be submitted by Friday 1 May 2015.

Click here for more information, and to download the entry form.

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The competition

Each year law students, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and junior lawyers (current, prospective or in between stages) are invited to enter the Law Society’s annual Graham Turnbull essay competition.

This year’s essay title is:

‘Should UK forces have immunity against civil claims brought against them claiming breach of rights protected under the ECHR in situations of conflict, peacekeeping, or policing?’

The closing date is 30 April


The winners will be announced at the Graham Turnbull Lecture Competition on 25 May.


The winner of the competition will receive £500 from the Graham Turnbull Memorial Fund. The runner-up will receive book tokens to the value of £250. We will also publish both essays.

The winners will be announced on the night.

About the Graham Turnbull Competition

The competition is named after English solicitor Graham Turnbull who did much to promote respect for human rights. Graham was killed in February 1997, aged 37, while working as a human rights monitor on the United Nations Human Rights Mission in Rwanda.

The Society is proud to honour Graham’s commitment to human rights through this competition, which aims to encourage awareness and knowledge of international human rights issues and remedies among young lawyers. This year will mark the twentieth anniversary of his death.

Send your essay to humanrightsessays@lawsociety.org.uk

Find out more and register for the event

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