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Gwyneth Bebb Law Essay Competition

Gwyneth Bebb (1889-1921), was one of the first women to be awarded a degree in Law at Oxford, and the first to achieve first-class honours; she was an educational and legal pioneer.


The Principal and Fellows of St Hugh’s College are pleased to offer a prize of up to £500 for the best essay written in response the question:

Defend one of the following two propositions:

  • The deployment of juries as part of this country’s criminal trial procedure should be abolished.
  • There is no particular reason for our judiciary to be representative of this country’s population.

No detailed knowledge of English law is required to answer it; indeed, while cases reported in the national media may be referred to, entrants should not look to cite any specific case law or statutes in their work. Rather, they are encouraged to think about things a matter of principle. The judges will be looking out for an entrant’s ability to reason from wider precepts and to construct clear and coherent arguments.

Entry is restricted to pupils who, at the closing date, have been in the Sixth Form of any state-funded school or college for a period of not more than two years.

2023 winners

First Place

Carmen Buckingham, Y12, Richard Huish College: Are there any legal decisions which judges should not take?

Second Place

Aqsa Mahmood, Y12, Dr Challoner’s High School: Are there any legal decisions which judges should not take?

Third Place

Mariana Fedchyshyn, Y12, Reigate College: Are there any legal decisions which judges should not take?


The winners and a number of those who had done particularly well were invited to tea in College in September.

2024 Poster

Cover Sheet

Gwyneth Bebb Submissions Form

Please use this form to upload your submission for the Gwyneth Bebb Competition. Please do not forget to upload the Cover Sheet with your submission.

  • I confirm that I attend a state-funded school or institution. Please note: we will not be able to consider entries by pupils of fee-paying schools.
  • I declare that this essay is my own work and give permission for the judging panel to use licensed electronic software to examine my work for plagiarism should they wish to do so.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf, docx, doc, pdf, docx, doc, pdf, docx, doc, pdf, Max. file size: 128 MB.
      Please upload an electronic copy of your Essay, together with the completed Cover Sheet, in Word format. Please note that Essays should be no more than 4000 words in length.