UC School of Law Essay Competition 2020

School of Law Essay Competition

Do you have students interested in entering our essay competition? The questions are based on topical events in Aotearoa to encourage their thinking about current issues. There are two categories (with the questions modified appropriately): Year 9-10 and Year 11-13.

Each category will have three placement prizes.

1st Prize: $200 for you and $100 for your school

2nd Prize: $150 for you and $100 for your school

3rd Prize: $100 for you and $100 for your school

Start watching the news, research your topic and discuss the issues at school. Most importantly, start writing!

Year 9 - 10 Competition

What do I need to do to enter?

It’s simple. Write a 600-word essay on any of the following topics.

Year 9 – 10 Essay Questions

Should we be harder on criminals?

Compare and contrast two or more political parties’ proposed changes to our criminal justice system and the advantages and disadvantages of them. Consider cultural perspectives of alternative ways of resolving criminal wrongdoing in your answer.

Should we keep our borders closed to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19?

Identify the key health and economic issues created by Covid-19 and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of keeping the border closed. Use examples of how other nations have successfully or unsuccessfully addressed Covid-19 at the border.

Year 11-13 Competition

What do I need to do to enter?

It’s simple. Write a 1000-word essay on any of the following topics.

Year 11 -13 Essay Questions

How would you change our criminal justice system?

Compare and contrast the criminal justice policies of two or more political parties and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Give examples of other nations who have similar policies to support your answer. Include your own suggestions about possible legal reforms that you think would improve our criminal justice system and/or better reflect Te Ao Māori, especially regarding the current over-representation of Māori.

What are the legal and wider societal implications of Aotearoa’s approach to Covid-19?

Identify the key legal and societal issues created by Covid-19 and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the approach taken in Aotearoa. Use examples of how other nations have successfully or unsuccessfully addressed Covid-19. Include a detailed discussion of the High Court case of Borrowdale v Director-General of Health [2020] NZHC 2090, which found that the first nine days of the Level 4 lockdown were unlawful but justified.

How to Apply

Go online here complete the entry form and submit your entry. It’s that easy!  You can enter more than one category. Each entry must be submitted on a separate entry form online. Good luck! Entries close: 5pm, Sunday 15 November 2020.

Terms and Conditions

  • The essay competition is open to secondary school students in New Zealand.
  • Winners and their schools will be notified by 4 December 2020.
  • Prize money will be direct credited to the winners’ accounts. By entering, students agree to have their names and school included on the UC School of Law website for publicity, in presentations to prospective students and their schools and for other marketing and publicity as decided by the UC School of Law.
  • The decision of the UC School of Law will be final. The UC School of Law may choose to award fewer prizes at their discretion. No correspondence will be entered into.

For more information

Jasmine Clark

Outreach Coordinator
Meremere 206
Internal Phone: 90529