SCL Sir Henry Brooke Student Essay Prize 2020 – Winner announced

August 31, 2020

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the SCL Sir Henry Brooke Student Essay Prize 2020 is Isabel Lightbody from the University of Law. 

Isabel’s winning essay will be published on the SCL website and in Computers & Law magazine. Isabel will also received £300 cash and a place at the SCL Annual Conference which will take place online on 7 and 8 October. 

The entries from Benjamin Evans from the University of East Anglia and Karolina Zielinska from the University of Cambridge were highly commended by the judges. Their essays will also be published on the SCL website.

Entrants were invited to write a maximum of 2500 words on the question ‘“At the start of the 2010s, two billion people used the Internet, MySpace rivalled Facebook as the most popular social network, iPads did not exist and few people had swapped their trusty Nokias for iPhones. Peer to peer networking was seen as an existential threat to copyright industries and net neutrality was not yet the law anywhere, while cloud computing was unknown to the general population. The future was unpredictable.” What, where, how, and when will the greatest regulatory challenges for the Internet of 2030 be?

Given the unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in this year, the essay question prompted an impressive number of entries and the standard was very high. We would like to congratulate everybody who took part in the competition.

One of the judges praised the entrants, noting “As we all know – especially in this year of all years – looking to the future is a perilous game. I was impressed by how this year’s entrants managed to home in on specific aspects of tech law and not get too side-tracked by the potentially all-encompassing nature of the question. I also particularly enjoyed the historical perspective of the winning entry.

Another judge added, “The standard of entries was high, and it was great to see entrants thinking in detail about how the current regulatory framework for the Internet could and should be supplemented.”

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 do keep up to date with the content that is produced on the SCL Student Bytes site. Full-time students can sign up for free SCL membership via the Join SCL page.