National essay competition success for Syed

A University of Aberdeen law student has won second place in a prestigious national writing competition.

Syed Adil attained the placement in the 2022 6KBW College Hill Essay Competition after impressing a panel of judges which included distinguished members of the judiciary and King's Counsels, including High Court judge Mrs Justice Arbuthnot, Circuit-court Judge HHJ Sarah Whitehouse KC; and senior member of Chambers Duncan Atkinson KC.

The annual competition seeks to foster greater diversity and inclusion at the Bar. It is open to any student in tertiary education or any graduate interested in the Criminal Bar who does not currently have a training contract and is from a group underrepresented at the Bar.

Syed is currently studying dual degree in Scots and English Law, with European Legal Studies. He hopes to further pursue a Masters degree and be called to the Scottish and English Bar, developing a career as a cross-border Barrister and utilising his dual-qualifying degree to its full extent.

Commenting on the competition, he said: “This essay competition stood out to me because of the intellectual challenge posed by its question, whether anyone should ever be exempt from the criminal law? Carrying out research on this question led to the incredibly interesting topic of diplomatic immunity and how it interacts with fundamental principles of the criminal law, a topic which I ended up centring my essay on.

“The competition provided me with the opportunity to develop further my ability to concisely defend a particular legal position and I am grateful to the judging panel for being selected as the runner up in a competition which saw entries from across the UK.”

Professor Justin Borg-Barthet, Syed's personal tutor and the School’s LLB Coordinator, said: “The School of Law strives to equip students with tools to develop excellent analytical skills which enable them to engage with emerging legal problems. Syed has made exceptional use of those tools. We are extremely proud of this achievement and especially pleased for the opportunities this opens up to him.”

It is a second success story for Syed who was one of only two Scottish finalists in the hotly-contested UK-wide Future Legal Minds competition in May 2022.

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