October 22, 2015
English – Speaking Union: My Magna Carta winners announced
Wednesday, 21st October
The English – Speaking Union. Click here to read this article as it originally appeared.
The English-Speaking Union is delighted to announce the overall winners of the My Magna Carta international creative writing competition, following the grand final at Dartmouth House on Thursday 15 October 2015.
13 finalists from all corners of the globe presented their entries to an invited audience, leaving the judging panel with a very tough decision. Judges and audience members alike were overwhelmed by the quality of each presentation.
Jane Josefowicz, from the USA, won the overall Junior prize and Mfundo Radebe, from South Africa, won the overall Senior prize. Jane and Mfundo each received a certificate and a manuscript of their winning entry, published on parchment thanks to William Cowley. Marie Georgette Spiteri, from Malta, was awarded a special commendation in the junior category, and Sofija Jovanovic, from Serbia, won a special commendation in the senior category. Mfundo’s and Jane’s essays can be read here, along with all of the other finalists’ entries.
All of the finalists enjoyed a full week in London, with cultural activities, public speaking training and opportunities to exchange ideas and make new friends.
“My favourite thing about being involved with the My Magna Carta Competition…was meeting a lot of new people – we clicked right away”
Sofija Jovanovic, Serbia, My Magna Carta Finalist (Special Commendation)
The judging panel consisted of [Chair] Professor Kate Williams (author, historian, broadcaster and lecturer at Royal Holloway), Professor Sir Robert Worcester (Chair of Magna Carta 800th Committee and former ESU Governor), Professor Justin Champion (Professor of the History of Ideas, President of the Historical Association and advisor to the 2015 Magna Carta Exhibition) and Professor James Raven (Deputy Chairman of the ESU, Fellow of Magdalene College University of Cambridge and Professor of Modern History The University of Essex and author).
“I believe that young people are still inspired by the Magna Carta because they want to make a better world…they want to increase equality and diversity”
Professor Kate Williams (Chair)
My Magna Carta was run in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London. The ESU is grateful to the Magna Carta 800th Committee for its funding.
September 25, 2015
My Magna Carta Continental Winners Announced
The English-Speaking Union announces the winners of the My Magna Carta Competition and launches its legacy project, inviting a new audience to consider the important constitutional issues of the 21st Century.
In November 2014, the ESU, in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London, launched My Magna Carta, an international creative writing competition for secondary school students all over the world. Young people were invited to submit their own modern constitutional document that safeguarded the rights, privileges and liberties that matter to them.
Following national and continent judging stages, we are proud to be able to announce the continent winners of both the junior and senior age categories:
• Junior – Kayseka Geerjanan (Mauritius)
• Senior – Mfundo Radebe (South Africa)
• Junior – Xue-Ern Neo (Malaysia)
• Senior – Fathima Nifra (Sri Lanka)
• Junior – Ella McEvoy (Australia)
• Senior – Jack Donnelly (Australia)
• Junior – Marie Georgette Spiteri (Malta)
• Senior – Sofija Jovanovic (Serbia)
• Junior – Valentina Errazuriz (Chile)
• Senior – Rocio Lopez (Chile)
• Junior – Jane Josefowicz (USA)
• Senior – Isabelle McMullen (USA)
• Junior – Laura White (Uxbridge)
• Senior – Alice Wilson (Herefordshire)
*The UK was treated as a separate continent for the purposes of the competition.
The judges were extremely impressed by the quality of the winning entries, with all of the young participants engaging with issues of rights, liberties and privileges. The continent winners have been invited to attend a finals week in October, culminating in a grand final on 15 October 2015, when an international junior and senior winner will be chosen.
The ESU would like to thank The Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Committee for its funding of My Magna Carta; enabling the competition and its resources to reach millions of people all over the world. Thanks to a further grant of £3000 from the Committee, we are now pleased to announce a legacy project entitled My Magna Carta: The Constitutional Voice of Tomorrow, which will give the winning entries a further international platform. Utilising the existing My Magna Carta website we will reproduce some of the very best submissions together with short clips from the final event itself, as a way of highlighting key themes discussed by entrants around the globe. Through digital distribution we will allow more young people to access these resources, and develop and discuss their own ideas about some of the most important issues of the 21st Century.
The Magna Carta Trust’s 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee is charged by the Magna Carta Trust to co-ordinate activities, raise the profile of the anniversary and deliver a number of key national and international aspirations.
Note to Editors: The English-Speaking Union, Patron HM Queen Elizabeth II and President HRH The Princess Royal, was formed out of the Great War with a vision to foster understanding between peoples and communities through the use of the English language. It is both a uniquely qualified and truly contemporary operator in debate training and persuasive speech outreach work in the UK, and beyond. This work is coupled with a worldwide programme of cross-generational education scholarships which places the English-Speaking Union in the vanguard of thinkers, deliverers and facilitators in creating life-changing educational opportunities for people whatever their age and social background.
More information: Michael Pryke [[email protected] telephone +44 (0) 207 529 1550]
May 18, 2015
Bishops and Barons to go on Trial… 800 years after alleged crimes
The Metro.co.uk, Monday 18th May.
By Richard Hartley-Parkinson.
Click here to read the article as it originally appeared.
It sounds like something from the 13th-Century.
Bishops and Barons have been summonsed for trial at the Houses of Parliament accused of treason, sparking a possible constitutional crisis.
That’s because it is from the 13th-Century.
The Supreme Court is to hold a mock trial in front of three of the world’s top judges to help mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.
Lawyers from across the Commonwealth will argue the defence and prosecution.
One of the key issues will focus on whether the barons and bishops were acting lawfully when they refused to surrender London to King John as agreed.
It will take place on July 31 at Westminster Hall and King John has been called as a prosecution witness.
Sir Robert Worcester, from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, said it would be ‘more than just a bit of historical themed fun’.
He said: ‘The evidence being examined by these eminent judges will help explore some timeless questions of legal and constitutional importance. Is the King above the law? Is there ever a defence for breaking a solemn promise?’