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Graham Turnbull Human Rights essay competition 2018

12 December 2018

The competition

Each year, law students, trainee solicitors, pupil barristers and junior lawyers (current, prospective or in between stages) are invited to enter our annual Graham Turnbull essay competition.

The title of the 2018 essay was:

“Is technology an opportunity or a threat for human rights lawyers? Does it increase or reduce risks for lawyers in carrying out their duties and in what circumstances might technology be used to mitigate such risks?”


The 2018 Graham Turnbull essay competition is now closed. We would like to congratulate our winner Alice Munnelly, as well as the runner-up Laura Lazaro. Thank you to all who took part.     

The competition was judged and presented by Dr Gus Hosein, executive director of Privacy International.

The winners were announced at the Graham Turnbull lecture on 11 December 2018 at the Law Society.

Read Alice Munnelly's submission (PDF 212kb)

Read Laura Lazaro's submission (PDF 126kb)


The winner of the competition received £500 cash from the Graham Turnbull Memorial Fund.

About the Graham Turnbull 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.

We are 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.

Previous winners

Last year was the twentieth anniversary of the Graham Turnbull essay competition. The Law Society produced a commemorative booklet (PDF 260kb) listing the winners of the previous 20 years, along with their winning essay.

The 2017 winners, as decided by guest judge Clive Stafford-Smith, were Alexander McColl (first place) and Debra Stanilawski (second place).

The 2017 essay question was: 'Should UK forces have immunity against civil claims brought against them claiming breach of rights protected under the ECHR in situations of conflict, peacekeeping, or policing?'

Hear from our 2017 prize winners


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