Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize 2019

Following his death in January 2018, the Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize seeks to honour the legacy of Sir Henry Brooke, a former Court of Appeal judge who became a tireless campaigner during retirement on issues including access to justice.

His post-judicial renown owed much to his enthusiastic adoption of digital technology; many came to know of him through his blog and tweets. He drafted significant sections of the Bach Commission’s final report on access to justice, and also acted as patron to a number of justice organisations including the Public Law Project, Harrow Law Centre and Prisoners Abroad.

The Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize is conceived by Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). We are grateful for the Public Law Project for its encouragement, and to our sponsor 39 Essex Chambers for its generous donation of prize money.


We were pleased to announce the winning essays at YLAL’s meeting on Tuesday 23 July 2019: 


  • 1st prize (£100) – Allan Shepherd 

Read Allan’s essay

  • 2nd prize (£50) – Sam March 

Read Sam’s essay

  • Runner-up (£25 book token) – Henrietta Boyle

Read Henrietta’s essay

  • Runner-up (£25 book token) – Mandy Groves 

Read Mandy’s poem


We’ll announce the essay for 2020 in due course. 


The Essay: 

“Technology has the capacity to enhance, empower and automate, but it also has the potential to exclude vulnerable members of society” – Sir Henry Brooke, September 2017

Discuss, with examples, how technology can be used to advance access to justice in the UK.


For more essay competitions, check our page on scholarships and bursaries.