First Prize: Brydie Parle

The Cathedral College Rockhampton

Teacher: Mrs Karen Lester

IMG_1192Brydie’s essay discussed the importance of jurors understanding judge’s instructions and beyond reasonable doubt in criminal trials. She discusses how juror’s struggling with the principle of beyond reasonable doubt is a contemporary challenge to the rule of law principle of equality before the law. Brydie  concludes by suggesting that juror’s receive written instructions from the judge and a nationwide agreed upon definition of reasonable doubt to allow for consistency in jury trials and therefore adherence to the rule of law.

Second Prize: Grace Hallewell

Commera Anglican College Gold Coast

Teacher: Ms Pip Macdonald

DSC_0379Grace’s essay was concerned with the need for uniformity in the Australia’s jury system. She discusses the need for a unanimous verdict in jury trials to “provide justice, fairness and equality” before the law. Grace argues that by requiring a unanimous verdict jurors will reach a more accurate decision and reflect that the jury decision is true to the principle of beyond reasonable doubt. She concludes by suggesting that all states should follow the Queensland example and amend their legislation to require unanimous verdicts in criminal trials.

Third Prize: Annabelle White

All Hallows School Brisbane

Teacher: Ms Michelle Curro

Michelle Curro and Annabelle White

Annabelle’s essay reflected her interest in balancing the competitive nature of professional sport, the importance of athletes as role models in the general community and the legal response to the  issue of performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport. She argued  that the powers of the Australian Sport Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and the legislation being considered to further regulate drug use in sport are necessary to allow for the rule of law principle of equality before the law to be applied to all athletes and restore integrity in Australian sport.