By Yenée Saw, Arts/Law III
Apart from being a fervent reader of the UNSW Law Society’s Court of Conscience (and being published in it last year), I have nothing to do with this social justice publication. So when I give you reasons to submit to the Court of Conscience, I do so earnestly without ulterior motives. In fact, if I was being really sneaky, I would probably refrain from blogging at all about why you should submit to this award-winning Law journal… y’know to eliminate the competition. But because I bona fide-ly believe that writing for the Court of Conscience is the best way to spend your break, I don’t mind the risk of increasing the competition for myself!
Without further ado, here’s why you should consider submitting something to the Court of Conscience (which, just btw, is UNSW’s Premier Social Justice Publication and Winner of the ALSA Best Equity Publication 2012 & 2013):
1. As Law students, we’re instructed to write about all sorts of boring things that we don’t actually gives a rat’s arse about: the Datafin principle in Administrative Law is just one of many examples. The sad truth is that we often don’t get the opportunity to research or write about something that we’re particularly passionate about – which is a shame because of our strong capacity for advocacy. But by contributing to the Court of Conscience, you get the luxury of researching about an issue that you actually care about. You finally have the opportunity to write about a topic that engages you and what’s more, through submitting to the Court of Conscience, you get the chance to have what you truly care about published and broadcasted to other Law students.
The Court of Conscience not only reflects current affairs but is a display of the issues which concern law students, legal academics and practitioners. There are no limits to what you can write about: topics in the past have covered all matters of interests from discussions of the death penalty to the recruitment of child soldiers.
2. If your submission is accepted, you go through a peer-review process whereby your work is evaluated by others. Speaking from personal experience, the peer-review process was incredibly insightful. This isn’t high school anymore: you don’t get teachers to scribble in red pen on your drafts – you’re wholly on your own. Writing your assignments independently (as you should be doing!), often you become impervious to your structural or grammatical flaws. By going through the peer-review process, I received feedback from an independent reviewer who meticulously annotated my work, opening my eyes to errors that I committed (and which I’ve stopped doing, luckily for those law lecturers having to mark my papers). Contributing to the Court of Conscience is process, one where you'll have ample academic development opportunities!
3. Repurpose your work: some of you may have written on social justice issues for various uni courses. If you’re like me, you feel a bit down that no one’s able to see all the life effort that you exerted into that exemplary assignment of yours – it links back to that age old question: did you really get an HD, if no one was there to see your assignment mark? GOOD NEWS: You can rework something you wrote for class and see it published in the Court of Conscience! The opportunity to have your work published for everyone to see is one not to be missed.
So get researching and writing! The theme for this year is ‘Rights + Freedoms’.
For more info, hop onto their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/CourtOfConscience
Or to check out past Court of Conscience publications, click http://www.unswlawsoc.org/court-of-conscience/
The submission deadline is 11 July at 11.59pm.