Submitted by Hasith

Law Personal Statement

Submitted by Hasith

My drive to read law is exemplified by my constant need to challenge existing norms. I was fortunate enough to harness and develop this trait through obtaining an annual scholarship to study the IB Diploma Programme. Being awarded the Outstanding Student Award in my first year only spurred me on further. Moreover, my interest in the complex nature of the judicial system continued to grow when my paternal grandfather received the highest honour for law in Sri Lanka, President's Counsel. Through the invigorating dialogue we shared, he taught me the importance of the rule of law within any society or political system. This inspired my curiosity on the formation and application of law. Following in my grandfather’s footsteps and my own curiosity of ethical implications influenced my academic choices and extra-curricular commitments.

A particular case I was drawn to: De Silva v MoL involved the unfair acquisition of land by the government. Under the discretion of the Minister of Lands, the government acquired property from a citizen without premise or compensation. My grandfather argued (successfully) that the discretion of the Minister was not used reasonably, and was therefore unconstitutional, resulting in the containment of government officials within the limits of the law. This illustrated to me the importance of justice which I emulated in my work in a simulation of the ICJ.

My roles as Chief Justice and an award-winning Justice in a model ICJ led me to see the complex differences between states being governed as opposed to citizens being governed in a state. Therefore, I was particularly drawn to the issue of the jurisdiction of the ICJ. The existing mechanism requires that nations give their consent for them to be under ICJ jurisdiction; however, for there to be justice, I believe all states should be obligated to accept the courts jurisdiction. The inability for universal jurisdiction to happen in International Law makes me question the effectiveness of the ICJ and whether justice is ever attainable in the international spectrum.

The practice of reading law encompasses the ability to write persuasively and argumentatively. I really enjoyed honing these skills when writing my IB Extended Essay. I learnt the value of writing concisely and accurately when exploring complex concepts such as the relationship between musical communication and authoritarian rule (USSR 1932-45; Syria 2011-present). Furthermore, I enjoyed practicing my argumentative skills in my Theory of Knowledge classes. In my summative assessment, I presented the argument: to what extent is it ethical to change biological outcomes? I explored the ethical implications of ‘designer babies’ in society and the integral roles of normative ethics and faith in this argument. Through these endeavours, I have learnt to challenge existing beliefs through critical thinking and to explore different perspectives by analyzing knowledge claims from varied points of view.

Music and Tennis have been passions in my life. I was 9 years old when I first played the trombone and I immediately fell in love with the sound. My talent and expertise grew as I developed as a musician, leading to my performance of Gustav Mahler’s lengthy trombone solo (Symphony No.3), the height of accomplishment for a trombonist. This dedication led me to become the principal trombonist of the Sri Lankan Junior Symphony Orchestra. My appetite for tennis and my ability to fight back when I am losing has taught me the value of an active work ethic. My sustained efforts in this sport eventually led to my placement in the top 16 for Under 18 tennis players in the country. These passions have developed into a way of life for me. I hope to apply the same approach to my academic work, in order to change a passion for law into a lifetime purpose.

My aim is to pursue higher learning in the hope that it will provide me with the tools to explore the applicability of justice on a local and global scale.

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