Competition 2023-2024: launch event film

The launch of the ILBF law undergraduate essay competition 2023-2024, hosted by our competition sponsors McDermott Will & Emery, saw a remarkable turnout. We were delighted and honoured that The Rt. Hon. the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, launched the competition. Our speakers included: Fiona Rutherford, Chief Executive of JUSTICE and The Rt. Hon. the Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, founder and patron of the ILBF.

Opening the event, Aymen Mahmoud, partner at McDermott Will & Emery, welcomed a diverse audience. Jane Colston, partner at Brown Rudnick, and ILBF trustee, followed with an introduction to the ILBF essay competition, highlighting the role of the ILBF in supporting the rule of law. It was then time for The Rt. Hon. the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, to launch the competition. Law students were encouraged to engage with opportunities like the ILBF essay competition as a way of exploring the law beyond its theoretical underpinnings and delving into its practical implications. This year’s essay title is:

‘Should the right to protest be unfettered?’

Following the launch, Maryann McMahon, JUSTICE council member and ILBF trustee, introduced the expert and esteemed panel of competition judges, who are: Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill CVO and Fiona Rutherford, Chief Executive of JUSTICE and former Director of Policy at the Ministry of Justice. Fiona Rutherford started by saying that if she, as a law student, had the opportunity to enter an essay competition like the ILBF’s, she would have grabbed the chance with both hands. Fiona then went on to describe the work of JUSTICE, which has been protecting the rule of law since 1957, being instigators of many important reforms since that time. A special mention was given to a recent JUSTICE report, titled ‘The State We’re In: Addressing Threats & Challenges to the Rule of Law’. Law students were urged to consult this, as well as other JUSTICE reports, as part of their research.

Lord Thomas’s ensuing final remarks in response to Fiona were profound, giving a fascinating insight into his experiences of the right to protest. He concluded by celebrating the extremely fortunate position we are in today with our first Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales.

To see it all unfold in action, click here.

Details on how to enter, dates to remember and applicable rules are accessible here.

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Best of luck!