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Graham Turnbull Human Rights essay competition 2018

Last updated: 14 November 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 is:

“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 maximum word count is 2,000 words.

For further information on eligibility and conditions, please see the Graham Turnbull essay competition guidelines (PDF 103kb).

Submitting your essay

Essays must be submitted by midnight on Friday 16 November 2018.

Please send your essays to


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

The winners will be announced at the Graham Turnbull Lecture on 11 December 2018, 6-7:30pm at the Law Society.

Graham Turnbull Lecture 2018

To attend the lecture and hear from our guest speaker Dr Gus Hosein, please register your interest. The event is free to attend.


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

The winners will be announced on the night.

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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