The Open University Law School, in conjunction with the Open University Law Society, is delighted to announce The Tom Bingham Memorial Essay Prize 2019.
The Tom Bingham Essay Prize is a joint initiative of The Open University Law School and the Open University Law Society. It commemorates the Rt Hon the Lord Bingham of Cornhill (1933-2010), a British barrister and judge who served as Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice and as Senior Lord of Appeal. The Prize celebrates Tom Bingham's commitment to the rule of law, and the potential of Open University law students to contribute to it. It is generously funded by private donations.
The winner will receive £250 and two runners-up will receive £125 each. The question is as follows:
In “The Rule of Law”, Tom Bingham identified access to justice as a core principle of the rule of law:
A state which savagely represses or persecutes sections of its people cannot in my view be regarded as observing the rule of law, even if the transport of the persecuted minority to the concentration camp or the compulsory exposure of female children on the mountainside is the subject of detailed laws duly enacted and scrupulously observed.Bingham, T.
2011. The Rule of Law. Penguin UK, p. 67.
Critically evaluate the view that the protection of human rights is a fundamental feature of the rule of law. You should give consideration to different theories of the rule of law when writing your answer.
When writing your answer you are likely to give consideration to ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ theories of the rule of law, and you will spend some time discussing Tom Bingham’s own views on the protection of rights and the rule of law. You may wish to consult Bingham’s own writings on the subject. This essay requires you to do research beyond the module materials of the Open University’s undergraduate law modules.
The Rt Hon the Lord Bingham of Cornhill (1933-2010) was a British barrister and judge (pictured). He served as Master of the Rolls, Lord Chief Justice and as Senior Lord of Appeal. He had been described as ‘one of the world's most acute legal minds’. In 2011 his book The Rule of Law won the Orwell Prize for political writing.
Competition rules, eligibility and further guidance on how to submit entries is available online. A certificate of own work must be submitted with all entries.
The deadline for entries is 17:00 (GMT) on 22 April 2019. The prizes for winner and runners-up will be awarded at the Student and Alumni awards on 12 July 2019.
The prizes for the winner and runners-up have kindly been donated by Lord Bingham’s former chambers, Fountain Court Chambers. Fountain Court are a long established set of commercial barristers, based in the Temple, London and have a distinguished record of being involved in cases making new law. As well as an award winning chambers, Fountain Court offers a very attractive Training and Pupillage Award to the best and brightest candidates regardless of their background.