Law Personal Statement
Submitted by Davina
I want to study law at university because it is a subject full of significant questions and it pervades every aspect of our lives. In addition, I am interested in understanding the relationship between morality and legality.
To further my understanding on the moral aspect behind the law, I did an EPQ on whether tax avoidance is justifiable. During this project, I became interested in tax documentation such as the General Anti-Abuse Rule; it was intellectually challenging to try to understand such complexity. The EPQ showed me that sometimes laws do not comply with a particular moral view because when I was looking at the companies, their actions were legal but morally, seemed unfair. However, I came to the conclusion that tax avoidance was justifiable because even though their actions may be classified as unfair, these multinational companies are the ones providing the people with the job. Therefore, for the happiness of the majority, we should overlook their activities and this is a different sort of morality. I was Interested to see this issue come to light again with the recent ruling against Apple and Ireland in the European Court.
I decided I wanted to further investigate this conflict by reading Justice by Michael Sandel and exploring different ideas of morality. Sandel ties morality with freedom by using philosophers such as Kant, who define justice to be ‘respect for the human freedom’. Freedom being a decision made autonomously without influences from the laws of nature or any other social conventions. Kant’s definition of moral action focuses on the intention behind the action rather than the consequence. I was fascinated by his libertarian perspective on the law and how he conflated morality with freedom. This lead me to question my own beliefs about how morality could be assessed. The book also explores other ideas of morality including utilitarianism in a witty and challenging way.
To know more about the theoretical aspects of the law, I read the Rule of Law by Lord Bingham. He highlighted the importance of the Rule of Law in his book by using Dicey’s definition and the Human Rights Acts. However, I was more convinced by professor Raz, who claims that it has lost its importance because it has become politicised. This was seen in the Bush v Gore case, in which both sides claimed the use of this phrase with the ‘widespread impression that utterance of those magic words meant…Hooray for our side’ (professor Waldron).
I took part in a work experience at a solicitor’s firm. I was really interested in knowing what makes a contract binding, which furthered my desire to pursue the study of law. I was able to practice the skill of precision as I was taught how to draft a lease.
I have also visited the Supreme Court listening to a case about an immigrant who had entered into the UK with false documents but was not charged by the Crown Prosecution owing to lack of evidence at that time. The issue of the case was whether the appellant should be prosecuted and whether it is appropriate to engage Article 8. Not only did it show me how arguments are presented at the highest level, but the judges presented different ideas as a counter- argument and the lawyers had to respond immediately.
I was able to put these skills I had witnessed into practise as I took part in a mock murder trial, which I really enjoyed. I was one of the prosecutors, which meant I had to research thoroughly in advance but also come up with arguments on the spot at times.
I have a passion for taking part in debating, in which I took part in Debate Mate in high school and joined a debating team in my college. I also have a huge interest in sports such as Swimming and Taekwondo; both of which I reached a high level. I also enjoy travelling and knowing about other cultures. Moreover, I have taken a week’s summer course in rowing, which I am enjoying and wish to pursue this interest in university.