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2016 Graham Turnbull Human Rights Essay Competition

2016 Graham Turnbull Human Rights Essay 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.

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


A most radical recommendation? Should interception warrants be judicially authorized or does there need to be democratic accountability?


Graham Turnbull Memorial Fund


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.


26 February 2016 (by midday)


  • The competition is open to all current or prospective law students, trainee solicitors, pupils, solicitors and barristers within three years of admission/call at the closing date. You will still be eligible if you are currently between stages and intend ultimately to pursue a career in law.
  • All entries must address the topic of this year’s competition and not exceed 2,000 words (including footnotes).
  • Please prepare your entry in the following style adopted by the Law Society for publication.
  • All entries must be typed
  • Please provide a cover page giving:
  1. Your full name
  2. Postal address, email and daytime telephone contact number
  3. Your eligibility to enter the contest
  4. The word count for your entry (which must include footnotes)
  • Do not put your name in the text of the entry or number the pages.
  • You do not need to provide a bibliography.
  • Please use:
  1. A4 paper
  2. 1.5 line spacing
  3. Ariel 11 point for the text and Ariel 10 point for footnotes
  4. Justified alignment
  • Spelling: please use UK English spelling rather than American variants and ‘s’ rather than ‘z’ in words such as ‘recognise’. Please be consistent. However, do not change alternative spellings in quoted material and book and article titles.
  • Footnote numbers should be placed after a full stop or other punctuation, not before.
  • Footnotes should be placed at the foot of the page, not at the end of the text.
  • The house style is to spell out numbers only under 10 in the text.
  • Foreign words or short phrases that are not commonly used in English should be italicised.
  • Spell out words such as ‘figure’ and ‘per cent’ in the text. Abbreviations are acceptable in footnotes so long as you are consistent.
  • Please make sure that your final copy can easily be opened as a Word document and does not have any restrictions placed on it in terms of access.
  • Please remember that this is an international human rights competition and the judges will expect to read arguments based on international law.
  • Please send your essay to


Please email your questions to


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Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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