LLB Law and International Relations Personal Statement
Submitted by Irene
The society we live in relies on the enactment of intricate laws and policies; the realisation of this fact made me want to study these aspects further. As a member of the Law and Politics society I explored the foundations of modern day British law and how it is applied in court. I was inspired to research specific areas of the law such as International law by attending lectures and seminars at the universities of Cambridge and Nottingham through summer school schemes. A particularly interesting seminar I attended focused on the definition of statehood and how it can and cannot be applied, in relation to contemporary groups like ISIS. It also unpicked Article 51 of the UN Charter, which raised issues against states who wanted to act in self-defence.
In contrast, after reading Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' alongside the recent rising of racial tensions between police and black American citizens, I realised that I was also very intrigued by laws that govern our everyday lives as these seem to be more apt for change evident in the introducing of the S.877 Police Camera Act. During a work experience placement as the Young People's Representative for the Birmingham City Council's Opportunities Fair, I helped vulnerable adults with learning disabilities for three months, which sparked my interest in the protective side of the law and how specific areas of the law such as the Care Act safeguard these individuals. Despite a clear legal structure, I learnt through discussions that many of these individuals still suffer from injustices, often because they are not aware of their rights or of the laws that are designed to protect them. As an active competitor in the debating society, I have developed my analytical skills, become more confident in speaking publicly and creating complex, clear arguments.
The opportunity to research topical motions relevant to places outside the UK helped widen my perspective on different dilemmas faced by thousands of people all over the world. In the ESU School's Mace competition a motion I personally supported on the legalisation of the sale of human organs became one that struck me. After researching and studying cases of people affected by it in countries like Pakistan where, 98% of donors reported a subsequent decline in health, I opposed the motion.
Academically, my interpretation skills are enhanced in A-Level Religious Studies where different situations are evaluated to decide which action would be most moral to do, in line with many ethical theories from the likes of Kant and Bentham. In A-Level History, source analysis helped me become a critical and discriminatory reader; a skill that will serve me well at university. Studying French and Portuguese has expanded my knowledge on not only different languages but also different countries and cultures. Furthermore, learning about French policies on immigration in light of the recent situation in Calais demonstrated to me how issues in one country influence the actions of another, an example of this is Britain allowing child migrants from the Calais Jungle Camp into the UK.
As House Captain, I am continually developing my teamwork and leadership skills and I am also an active member of my school netball and basketball teams. I became a prefect and ultimately Head Girl; a role that developed my organisation and time management skills. This was then furthered by working part time at a local restaurant. I believe that the law and politics governing our society are ever changing and intrinsically linked with our lives and thus these are topics which I would love to study further at university. The experience and knowledge I have gained through my A Levels and extracurricular activities mean that I have built a solid foundation in order to study and succeed at university and in my chosen career.