Law Olympiad bringing students together

By Hansini Munasinghe

Aliens have invaded our planet and threatened to take away our rights. As the delegate of the humans, you have the power to select the only five basic rights that we will be allowed to retain. Which ones would you choose and why? Will the right to own weapons be more important than that of free speech? What legal rights will humans have under the control of an alien regime?

This was just one of the many creative challenges aspiring law students faced at the Law Olympiad 2011, held recently at the British School Auditorium. Organised by Seekers Worldwide (Pvt) Ltd. together with the Faculty of Law and Government of the HELP (Higher Education Learning Philosophy) University College, Malaysia, for the second consecutive year, the Law Olympiad brought together talented students from 26 schools across the island including two from Jaffna.

Students were encouraged to use their knowledge and practical thinking skills to solve problems linked to legal matters, identifying culprits after studying the evidence and creating alibis and pleas for the accused. They also faced a round of general knowledge questions.

The Holy Family Convent team described the Law Olympiad as a good chance to interact and learn in a fun and interesting way. “Participating in this competition made me more willing to study law,” said Sivaroshan of St. John’s College, Jaffna. This is an opportunity we will not have in Jaffna, added Thivahara of St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna.

“The level of intellect that goes in to an answer is amazing,” said Lua Bo Feng, a Law lecturer of Help University College Malaysia, commenting on the performance of Sri Lankan students. Their level of sensitivity and the importance they place on social and spiritual development in contrast to materialistic development is impressive, he added.

The Championship was won by Asian International School while Holy Family Convent and Ladies’ College won second and third places consecutively. The winners were awarded partial tuition scholarships for the first two years of the UK transfer programme or the first three years of the American transfer programme conducted at the Help University College in Malaysia. Court of Appeal judge Rohini Marasinghe and the Counsellor of the Malaysian High Commission, Tan Li Lung were the Guests of Honour at this event

Ever since this concept was first introduced by the Department of Law of Help University College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2000, the Law Olympiad’s popularity has grown and its reach widened to other cities in Malaysia. This was the first time it was held in a foreign country.

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