We are delighted to share the news that one of our postgraduate students, Marilyn Eze, won a place to participate in the 2017 House of Lords Chamber Event in December of last year.
Currently studying on our LLM in International Commercial Law, Marilyn entered an essay competition in October 2017 organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society to Chevening Scholars currently studying in the UK.
With her prize-winning essay, written about her ‘ideal debating partner’, on December 1st 2017, Marilyn joined participants from schools and organisations around the UK in the House of Lords for an intergenerational debate on international relations and future challenges in the 21st century.
Marilyn shared, “I was happy to be a part of the rare opportunity of participating in a debate at the House of Lords; they only open their chambers up to non-members for a debate once a year. Attendees were provided with lots of research materials to prepare for participating in the debate which really improved my parliamentary awareness.”
This year’s debate was the latest activity in a broad outreach programme that aims to raise awareness of the role and work of the Lords. And, in a first for the House of Lords, this year's event was streamed live on their Facebook page too.
Participants of the debate argued in favour of one of three motions, each taking a particular angle. Should the UK:
- Aim to work closely with the Commonwealth, European countries, the EU and global partners to achieve common regional aims? (113 votes)
- Be a global leader in our own right? (43 votes)
- Focus on our own problems and keep the affairs of other countries at a distance? (21 votes)
“All sides had robust well-researched points in support or against the motions,” Marilyn stated. “Although the end votes called for greater participation of the UK in international relations, valid points were made by those who felt the UK should look inwards more. I think the UK should strike a balance.”
Thinking about what Marilyn took from the day, “I understood better the unique role of the House of Lords in the legislative process. The debate provided me with the opportunity to appreciate various perspectives as to how the UK should handle its future international relations in the 21st century.”
During the day, Marilyn was also interviewed and filmed by the Commonwealth Unit of the Cabinet Office before the debate. Marilyn spoke about how the Commonwealth is relevant today and can be seen discussing her thoughts on their social media accounts.
We asked a group of young people how relevant #ourCommonwealth is? Here's what they had to say.@commonwealthsec @TheRCSLondon @ComSecYouth @CPA_UK @CPA_Secretariat @PScotlandCSG pic.twitter.com/yDeXQPCzUw— CHOGM London 2018 (@Commonwealth18) December 23, 2017