Kevin De Silva Competition 2021 - And the winner is...

Kevin De Silva Competition 2021 - And the winner is...

Written By: Michelle Taylor
Written: 30th Mar 2021

On Thursday 25th March, we all assembled in the Zoom Awards room to announce the winner of the Kevin De Silva essay writing competition.

The competition has been running since 2013 and encourages law students and junior solicitors to share their views in the form of an essy, on a question set by the Society.  This year there were two judging panels, the preliminary panel consisted of President Philip Turton, Naomi De Silva and Steve Kirby.  The essays selected for the final panel were then judged by HHJ Godsmark QC and HHJ Coe QC.

The evening was attended by all entrants, the Judges and members of Nottinghamshire Law Society.

The essay question this year was set by President Philip Turton, entrants had to respond to the question:  'How should free speech on social media be controlled?'

Naomi De Silva, gave an insight has to how the competition was formed back in 2013 in memory of her brother Kevin, who died suddenly.  Kevin De Silva was a solicitor in Nottinghamshire.   HHJ Coe then congratulated all those that entered the competition for their writing skills, references to social media, entertainment and legal references. 

HHJ Godsmark QC first announced the runners up as Tamara Dasht from Geldards LLP and Jordan Grover from Nottingham Law School.   Bianca Brasoveanu from The Johnson Partnership, was announced the winner.

The evening concluded with a virtual trophy presentation.   The winner receives £350 cash prize, and £75 is presented to the runners up.  The winning essay will be published in the April Bulletin.

President Philip Turton pictured with HHJ Coe, HHJ Godsmark QC 

and the competition audience

President Philip Turton and Kevin De Silva Winner, Bianca Brasoveanu

from The Johnsons Partnership

The competition experience in their words....

The Winner...

I took part in the competition because I thought the essay's title caught my attention and although not entirely criminally oriented I believed that my experience as a criminal practitioner would assist in exploring the proposed topic. I enjoyed researching for the essay as I think it allowed me to broaden my understanding of the relationship between state, social media and their users. 

I am very thankful to Nottinghamshire Law Society, the organisers, all the sponsors and in particular to Naomi De Silva who is honouring her late brother by motivating year by year students and young practitioners to get involved in these wonderful learning experiences. 

Bianca Brasoveanu, The Johnson Partnership

Runner Up...

The competition came at just the right time for me, I was feeling fed up of the same lockdown routine every night and it gave me something to focus my energy on. It was also a good way to delve into a topic I wouldn’t necessarily explore in my day-to-day job.

My essay probably had a very “gen-z” feel with a heavy focus on Instagram and Twitter as well as celebrities such as Kim Kardashian. I found that the topic is actually an extremely broad one which could be approached scientifically (AI and the likes) as well as from a moral and philosophical stance. It was certainly difficult to cover everything in 2000 words!  

Tamara Dasht, Geldards LLP 

Runner Up...

"When I saw this essay question, I knew immediately that I had a response in me although it took a great deal of research and time to articulate it. I was delighted at the opportunity to explore this fascinating constitutional dilemma, it's been great fun and really educational, right from the moment I considered the question for the first time. Legal philosophy at this level isn't something LLB students get to write about too often, but it's my favourite area of discussion. 

The question about balancing freedom of speech and the duty of the state to protect victims of online abuse is a volatile but exciting one - I couldn't ignore an opportunity to try my hand in this curious legal area.

Again, many thanks to you and everyone else who organised this competition - I'll never forget it!"

Jordan Grover, Nottingham Law School