Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who has judged the Human Rights Essay Competition, will be announcing the winner and giving a short speech at this evening’s prestigious Graham Turnbull Lecture at the Law Society.

Renowned human rights expert and LSE lecturer Conor Gearty will be giving the keynote speech.

This year’s competition question focused on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and the current threats posed to the Human Rights Act: ’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 essay competition is named after English solicitor Graham Turnbull who was killed in February 1997, aged 37, while working as a human rights monitor on the United Nations Human Rights mission in Rwanda. It is open to law students, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and junior lawyers (current, prospective or in between stages). The competition was open to all students from around the world who were less than three years’ qualified at the closing date.


  • Ian Robert Mcdonald: Law (LLB) student (Fourth Year) Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Angelica Rokad: Called to the Bar at Middle Temple (2014)
  • Anna Dannreuther: Future Trainee at Berwin Leighton Paisner (Commencing August 2015, LPC completed July 2014)
  • Joseph Mulhern: Trainee Solicitor at The Co-operative Legal Services
  • Rachel Sullivan: BPTC Student, City University London
  • Jake Rylatt: LLB and LLM graduate. Between stages, working as a Research Assistant, scheduled to commence the BPTC in September 2015.

President of the Law Society Andrew Caplen said:

“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.

“That the Human Rights Act is under threat this year, on the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, is a stain on England’s record of protecting human rights internationally and at home.

“We are proud of the profession’s opposition to these proposals, none more eloquently expressed than by the entrants to the Law Society’s Human Rights Essay Competition.”