SCL Sir Henry Brooke Student Essay Prize 2019 Winner Announced

May 1, 2019

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the SCL Sir Henry Brooke Student Essay Prize 2019 is Robert Lewis from the University of Law. 

Robert’s winning essay will be published on the website and in the Computers and Law magazine. Robert has also won a free place at the SCL Annual Conference taking place at The IET in London on 2 October 2019 and £250 cash. 

First Runner up is Jordan Briggs, Oxford University and Second Runner up is John-Paul Tettmar Saleh, QMUL. Their essays will also be published on the SCL website.

Entrants were invited to write a maximum of 2500 words on the question “Do social network providers require (further?) regulation?” This topic provoked an unprecedented number of entries and the standard was incredibly high. The battle for the top spot was closely-fought and huge congratulations are due to all who took the time to take part.

One judge stated: “I was delighted to see so many people engage with the thorny subject of further regulating — or not — social media platforms. Understanding what behaviours are likely to draw the attention of a legislature is an important skill for anyone looking to advise companies developing cutting-edge technologies and developing arguments around the impact and proportionality of intervention will be increasingly important if we are going to see ever more regulatory oversight of our online communications.”

Another said: “I was hugely impressed by the topicality of the entries. Recent events, such the live streaming of the Christchurch massacre or the Cambridge Analytica affair, were the inspiration for many of the essays and it was gratifying to see the writers grapple with these real life, immediate issues in the context of what law makers need to do about them.

It was also gratifying to read such a wide variety of viewpoints and approaches, perhaps an indication that there is, as yet, no clear way forward on how we should regulate social media. It would be nice to think that our entrants will be instrumental in shaping the law in the years to come.”

The SCL Student Essay Prize honours the memory of Sir Henry Brooke CMG, a former President of SCL and his immense contribution to the field of computers and the law.

To find out more about how students can get involved with SCL take a look at our page for SCL University Ambassadors and find out how full-time students can sign up for free SCL membership.