Tom Bingham in ‘the rule of law’ states: ‘The laws of the land should be applied equally to all, save to the extent that objective differences justify differentiation’. I find this approach to the law very interesting because is it serves as a social equalizer. Ironically, given the amount of intellect inherently in the law, it is ignorant of socio-economic status (until sentencing). In the modern age where material wealth has become a means of differentiation between economic statuses, the blind blanket of the law makes everyone subject to the same penal system. Yet, proving infringement on the penal code is subject to the scrutiny of the defense counsel, the rich and wealthy or those who belong to powerful companies can afford the best defense counsel meaning the wrath of the CPS can be curbed when the accused has access to powerful resources. I believe it is the role of the legal system to always uphold these laws, even against powerful bodies who infringe these pillars of society, such as Rolls Royce, which voluntarily agreed to pay £671 million to prevent being prosecuted for bribery. I am also keen to follow the nature of law changes when Britain leaves the EU next April and how this will affect currently existing statutes such as amending EU laws applied in British laws and ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Through studying the law, I expect to find many grey areas in need of clarification, where I will need to appreciate compromise and clarity in one’s argument. This is a skill I have practiced during the weekly meetings and mock trials of the law society at my college, where I am vice chairman and social secretary. As part of my responsibility, I organized various recruiting campaigns and adverts for the fresher’s fair to put up around the buildings as well as preparing slides for moots as well as being involved in inviting various speakers to present to the society.
Through studying A-level history, I have learned about the Great Reform Act of 1832, which granted powers of democracy to a far larger demographic and allowed their representation at national level for the first time: a great step in legally unifying the entire country, a process arguably still not complete. It has also given me a valuable insight into how laws are created and the process of lobbying for action against a mammoth social injustice. I have witnessed social injustice being exposed at numerous criminal trials in Lewes and Hove crown court as well as county and magistrate courts, as part of my personal research into the workings of the legal process. I was captivated by method of interrogation the Prosecuting silk used to totally delegitimize the testimony of a man accused of rape: when his story fell apart, it reinforced my desire to study law. This desire was also firmly planted in my mind after attending several law lectures at the Sidgwick site in Cambridge where I was inspired by a lecture delivered by Dr. Shona Wilson Stark, on freedom of expression laws such as public order act 1986. This prompted me to take an EPQ in which I discuss the question ‘How far should legislation protect free speech’. This is a topic in which I am very interested as these laws dictate what is and is not acceptable in society. In conducting my research, I came across a book entitled “HATE, why we should resist it with free speech not, censorship” by Nadine Strossen. Strossen, I think, captures my feelings perfectly and discusses why a democracy succeeds only when the rights, thoughts and aspirations of all citizens are respected.
Time management in studying for my piano diploma has taught me commitment from the age of three. I work well under pressure: in addition to academic workload I allocated time preparing for concerts. Giving attention to every detail and researching opposition and adjudicators has helped me to prepare and go on to win numerous classes at music festivals such as ‘Springboard’ in Brighton where I won the ‘grade 8 and over romantic class’ and be invited to perform for Sussex Young Musician Club. I attended a leadership and development course with a retired brigadier to enhance my decision making and leadership skills and methods. The course also helped me to develop team building and team working skills and taught me how to develop successful close working relationships with completely unknown people. I am sure this skill will be useful throughout my career, hopefully in law.