Competition 2023-2024

ILBF law undergraduate essay competition 2023-24

The winner of the 2023-2024 essay competition was announced on 4th April 2024.

Congratulations to Lauren Davis of the University of Dundee!

You can read the result and view the film of the announcement by Lord Thomas ot Cwmgiedd, Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill CVO and Fiona Rutherford, Chief Executive of JUSTICE here.

The competition was sponsored by McDermott Will & Emery and the winner will spend a week on work experience with the firm in its London office in the summer of 2024.

The Rt. Hon. the Baroness Carr of Walton-on-the-Hill, the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, launched the competition on 29th November 2023 at McDermott Will & Emery.   You can watch the video of the launch here.

The ILBF essay competition is an opportunity for all undergraduates currently studying law at university in the UK to think about a key issue. This year we asked law students to consider the right to protest, with the chance to win an exciting prize, as well as an opportunity to research and express their insights and ideas on this fundamental topic.

Follow the ILBF on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and YouTube for regular updates about future competitions.

Key dates

  • 24 January 2024 at 5pm: Online panel discussion with experts from across the legal profession discussing the rule of law and the right to protest, hosted by LexisNexis. Watch the recording of the discussion here.
  • 4 April 2024 at 4pm: The winner announced by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Carnwath CVO and Fiona Rutherford, Chief Executive of JUSTICE



  • A week’s internship in summer 2024 at McDermott Will & Emery
  • Publication of the winning essay in the Commonwealth Lawyer Journal, April 2024 edition
  • Publication of the winning essay in ThoughtLeaders 4 FIRE, May 2024 edition
  • Publication of the winning essay on the ILBF’s website

Runner up

  • The runner up essay will be published on the ILBF website

All entries

  • The ideas and insights from all entrants will be compiled into a grand summary to be shared on the ILBF website and with legal media, to help stimulate debate around the essay topic.

Competition judges

  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Patron of and driving force behind the ILBF
  • The Rt. Hon. Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill CVO, former Supreme Court Justice, and founding member of the EU Forum of Judges for the Environment, and of the Global Institute of Judges on the Environment
  • Fiona Rutherford, Chief Executive of JUSTICE and former Director of Policy at the MoJ

Competition Judging Team

  • Jane Colston, Brown Rudnick, ILBF Trustee
  • Mark Stephens CBE, Howard Kennedy, ILBF Trustee
  • Sophia Dirir, Head of Legal, Cancer Research UK, ILBF trustee
  • Dr Tawanda Hondora, Head, Rule of Law, Governance and Peace Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat, ILBF trustee
  • Maryann McMahon, Council Member JUSTICE, ILBF Trustee
  • Katrina Crossley, Chief Executive of the ILBF
  • Ellen Lake, Clifford Chance, ILBF Operating Committee
  • Elisabeth Moseley, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Sarah Trotter, Assistant Professor of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science, ILBF Operating Committee
  • Chiara Iorizzo, McDermott Will & Emery
  • Ayuushman Aroraa, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

The ILBF supports the rule of law and access to justice for all through sharing legal knowledge. Since the charity’s foundation in 2005, the ILBF has distributed over 80,000 legal textbooks to more than 250 organisations in 56 countries. Our books support law students, teachers, lawyers and judges across the world.

Watch the ILBF’s 15th anniversary film to hear more about why it makes a difference