Teenagers receive prestigious Jesus College law prize from Supreme Court Judge
Two teenagers received a prestigious law essay prize from Jesus College at a ceremony on Monday. Louisa (pictured with Lord Toulson) and Cain were each presented with their award by Supreme Court judge Lord Toulson.
The Lord Toulson Essay Prize is a new annual award given by Jesus College. Lord Toulson started his undergraduate degree at Jesus College in 1964 and is now one of their Honorary Fellows. The prize is sponsored by firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
Louisa, 18, fended off competition from around the world to triumph in the competition, which was open to students in their final two years of school. Entrants were asked to answer the question "Why do we punish criminals?" in a 1,500 word essay.
Jesus College Law Fellow Claire Fenton-Glynn said, “The aim of the prize is to give students the chance to explore the kind of issues that they would be exposed to in a Cambridge law degree. We hope it will encourage more students to think about law as an academic subject, and consider studying it at university. We were really impressed with the responses to the question.”
Louisa said, “My essay asks whether laws embody a divine moral decree, or serve to maintain a social contract which changes constantly according to the values of societies and their leaders. I questioned whether punishments are rooted in pragmatism or vengeance, concluding that, although sentences usually serve at least some utilitarian functions, there are enough exceptions to this to warrant the claim that their overriding aim is to offer consequences which are supposedly just and predictable in a world which is anything but.”
Lord Toulson is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. He was educated at Mill Hill School, London, and at 16, he came to Jesus College to study law. He worked as a barrister for many years, before being appointed as a judge of the High Court in 1996. From 2002 he served as the Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales, and in 2007, was promoted to the Court of Appeal. In 2013, he was appointed to the Supreme Court.