Ratcliffe College Top 09/02/22

Dorset Legal Experience Essay Competition

Published Wednesday 6th of July 2022 01:08:35 PM

Congratulations to Lower Sixth pupil, Eliana, on her success in the Dorset Legal Experience competition.

The competition, launched in early 2022, gave the opportunity for six Year 12 students to take part in a unique learning experience at Bournemouth Crown Court, with successful entries being awarded the chance to attend Bournemouth Crown Court for two days, where they will meet the judges, watch court hearings and gain an insight into the operations of the criminal justice system. The competition asked candidates to include a description up to 150 words of their interest in law and an essay of up to 1000 words discussing one of the following topics: should citizens ever be entitled to break the law, prison is not an effective punishment, or should the law permit assisted suicide in appropriate cases. The judges were looking for a well-argued essay demonstrating enthusiasm, creativity, and independent thinking.

We are delighted for Eliana to be chosen as one of the final six to take part in this experience.

Eliana said:

“I found the question of whether prison is an effective punishment a highly interesting one. It is a question that effects our whole society and something that there are great misconceptions about. I wanted to prove that inhumane treatment of prisoners does not lead to lower offending rates. I prepared my entry by researching on jstor, watching videos, reading books, and watching films, all of which took far longer than anticipated as each resource pulled me in different directions. I pulled this all together to produce a 10,000 word essay. I then had the most difficult task of reducing it down to 1000 words, a process which took a month of constant re-visiting and editing. When I discovered I had won I felt excited, the prospect of shadowing a judge in a crown court is a massive opportunity, as it’s only usually awarded to students in their final year of a law degree or who have completed law school. I was also really pleased that my hard work led to a result, it shows that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it, even whilst doing an EPQ, 4 A Levels, 11 rowing sessions a week and getting a cello diploma distinction in the same term!”

The response Eliana received in her congratulations letter from His Honour Judge Brian C Forster QC said:

“We received a large number of entries for our Dorset Legal Experience competition. The standard of entries was very high. Each entry was read by four Crown Court judges, who were impressed by how Eliana had considered relevant issues.”
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