The winner of this year’s SCL Student Essay Prize is Alvin Cheung. The runner-up is Viraj Ananth.
In a year of high-quality entries, Alvin Cheung’s essay on the set topic has won him the SCL Student Essay Prize. Alvin wins £250 and a free place at the SCL Annual Conference 2017 (including the Conference dinner) on Thursday 27 September at the IET in London. The winning essay will be published in Computers & Law.
The set topic was ‘Are state legislation and case law, or Internet Service Provider action, more important to the enforcement of rules on Internet users? Discuss with respect to key internet platforms’ Terms of Service and privacy policies.’ One judge of the competition remarked that ‘Alvin’s essay exemplified what we were looking for in an answer: a carefully-considered exploration of the benefits and risks of both forms of regulation, as well as the motivations (or not) for a service provider to take action, with a clear conclusion as to which he felt was more important to the enforcement of rules on Internet users.’ Another was impressed with his detailed response to the tricky question.
Alvin Cheung has just finished his first year at University College, Oxford, following study at Li Po Chun United World College (high school). He is studying on the BA Jurisprudence course. He said:
‘I am really honoured to have won the competition! It was an incredibly fun question to research, and it broadened my understanding of how ISP action works in conjunction with state legislation and case law in regulating Internet behaviour and how legal mechanisms can be limited at times in resolving social issues. I cannot wait for the SCL Conference this September! Thank you so much to SCL for this wonderful opportunity!’
Alvin is interested in human rights, anti-discrimination policies, commercial law and the relationship between technology and the law. Alvin is 18 but has already worked at Linklaters and Slaughter and May and plans to complete a mini-pupillage at two Hong Kong chambers (Temple and Des Voeux) as well as an internship in Shanghai at Zhong Lun.
The international flavour of the competition is further emphasised by the fact that the runner-up, Viraj Ananth, is a student at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, where he is in the second year of his degree. He is the SCL Student Ambassador there (though judging was blind to this). His essay was described by one judge as ‘challenging and innovative and a very serious contender for the prize’.
Viraj was the recipient of the International Technology Law Association’s (ITechLaw) Student Manuscript Award 2018 for his paper on regulatory sandboxes in the Indian context and, pursuant to the same, presented the paper at the ITechLaw India Conference 2018. He is currently working with the Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, Government of Karnataka, to draft a framework on innovation and regulatory sandboxes for the State. He also serves on the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Law and Technology.