SCL Essay Prize Winner

May 1, 2008

The winner of the SCL Essay Prize 2008 has been announced. Stephan Buck, an MA student at the School of Law at Queen Mary College of the University of London, has been adjudged the winner. He wins a cheque for £1,000, free attendance at the SCL Conference in November 2008, a free subscription to Computers & Law for that year and the opportunity to spend one week’s work experience with the Information Technology Team at Bird & Bird ( The School of Law at Queen Mary will be given £1,000 to purchase library books in support of IT law teaching and research.

The 2008 SCL Essay competition focused on one of the hot topics of the moment: ‘Virtual Properties and Virtual Economies: How should activities with economic consequences in virtual worlds like “Second Life” and “Everquest” be dealt with by real-world legal systems?’. One judge commented that the winning essay was successful because it presented ‘an interesting argument combining current UK law and theoretical analysis’.

Stephan said that he was ‘very pleased and honoured to win the prize’ – it was an ‘awesome’ opportunity. He gained his first degree and undertook professional training in Germany and his study now encompasses computer law, international and comparative law of copyright and related rights and e-commerce law. The work experience with Bird & Bird will give him the opportunity to assess the attractiveness of working in the UK – he is contemplating taking the transfer test and working as a solicitor in the UK. He did engage with Second Life to gain understanding for the essay but fears its addictive qualities and has not become a player.

The winning essay can be read here.