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The Law Society of England and Wales invites law students, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and junior lawyers (current, prospective or in between stages)  to enter the Law Society’s annual Graham Turnbull essay competition.

This year’s essay title is:
“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 deadline for entries is 13 February 2015.


The winner will receive £500 from the Graham Turnbull Memorial Fund. The runner-up receives book tokens to the value of £250. We will also publish both essays. The prize-giving event will take place at the Law Society in April 2015, where the winner may give a short speech.
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.

Entering the competition

• 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 must reach the Law Society by 18:00 on Friday 13 February 2015.

• Entries should be a maximum of 2,000 words, including footnotes.

• Entries will be rejected if they do not address the subject of the title, or exceed 2,000 words.

• Proof of eligibility must be included with your essay.

Read the full rules before submitting your entry.

• The winning essay will be chosen by a panel of distinguished judges. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
• Please email your entry to

Read more on the essay here