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Essay success for LLB student Jack Harvey

Jack Harvey, a first year LLB Law with Criminology undergraduate, has won second prize in the Kevin De Silva Memorial essay competition.

Jack Harvey, a first year LLB Law with Criminology undergraduate, has won second prize in the Kevin De Silva Memorial essay competition.

The Nottinghamshire Law Society competition, held in memory of the talented young lawyer Kevin De Silva, is open to all students, pupils, trainee solicitors and lawyers with less than five years’ experience in Nottinghamshire.

This year entrants were asked to consider whether cameras should be allowed in court, and the competition was judged by the Recorder of Nottingham, His Honour Judge Stokes QC.

Jack decided to enter the competition only four days before the closing date, setting himself the challenge of completing the essay before beginning the task of revising contract law. He decided to approach the question from a slightly different perspective, focusing on where the cameras would be placed in the courts and then connecting this idea to whether we should have them at all.

Jack says: “I focused at first on other countries that had implemented cameras in their judicial system and the effects this had, such as both growth and misconduct of the media.

“I noted in this section that the cameras were placed in the thick of the action, in the courtroom, with the cross-examinations - and most notably the verdict - being the main headline. From this, I imagined our judicial system with a similar form of media obsession, and questioned the actual significance of having cameras in the courtroom when our reporters relay the same information to us on the news, without filming inside.

“Continuing this train of thought, I then suggested that maybe instead of the placing cameras inside the court during a trial, the cameras should be introduced to our jury deliberation rooms in order to reduce bias and prevent miscarriages of justice. If cameras were to be implemented, there would be evidence of any misconduct, bias or racism; however, this inevitably raised questions as to the ethics of having cameras recording possibly innocent jurors who may not want their own opinions and private thoughts revealed to the general public as evidence.

“When considering the purpose of the cameras, I found that the main reason other countries had used them was for media reporting. Based on this, and the cases I’d mentioned previously, I remarked that it seemed that these cameras were not to see justice being done, as cameras in jury deliberation rooms would. Rather they were only there to show who the justice was being done to.”

Jack received £150 for his entry, and he and the other winners were presented with their awards at the Nottinghamshire Law Society Annual General Meeting. The cash prizes were donated by Cartwright King, Paragon Law, and the Nottinghamshire Junior Lawyers Division.

Dean of the Law School, Janine Griffiths-Baker, said: “Second place is a tremendous achievement, particularly so given that Jack has competed as a first year student against final year students, postgraduates and practising solicitors. We are very proud of Jack and offer our heartiest congratulations.”

Read Jack’s essay in full on the Nottingham Law School blog.

Essay success for LLB student Jack Harvey

Published on 10 May 2016
  • Category: Nottingham Law School

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