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Inaugural Eric McGraw Award Winner Announced

(Posted on 28/09/22)

Inaugural Eric McGraw Award Winner Announced
Inside Justice is delighted to announce the winner of the first Eric McGraw Award which is presented to a university student who has made an outstanding contribution to the cause of wrongful convictions. 

The inaugural winner, Lorna Williamson, a law student based at Swansea University, was presented with the award in London (28 Sept). Judges described Lorna as a passionate and innovative thinker whose enthusiasm and analytical skills made her a worthy winner. 

Inside Justice, which is a charity dedicated to investigating miscarriages of justice, has a longstanding relationship with a number of universities across England and Wales where students can revisit cases and provide fresh perspectives and possible new lines of enquiry. 

The award, which has been created in partnership with Inside Justice and co-sponsored by Inside Time, is dedicated to the memory of Eric McGraw MBE, a passionate champion of prisoners’ rights.

Eric spent his life making things better for those held in prison and among many of his achievements was setting up the Inside Time newspaper in 1990 and then in 2010 he helped establish the Inside Justice charity with its founder, Louise Shorter. Eric sadly died in April 2021 leaving an extraordinary legacy behind. 

The panel of judges, led by Inside Justice chairman Jill Battley along with Advisory Panel members Ann Priston and Jessica Ritchie, were impressed with the thought and enthusiasm given to project by all the students and agreed they all captured the essence of
the award. 

Jill Battley said: “After carefully considering all the excellent nominations the panel independently all agreed and selected Lorna because her application showed a level of passion and innovative thinking over and above the other entries.

“Lorna not only identified case discrepancies and new lines of enquiry but she also considered lessons that could be learned from other law clinics and considered best practice in supporting victims of crime. Overall, her enthusiasm, commitment, research and analytical skills made her
stand out.”

Accepting her award and cash prize of £300, Lorna Williamson said: “It was an absolute honour to hear I would be the first person to receive this award! Thank you to Richard Owens and Eve Haynes for all their support in the Swansea Law Clinic.” She added: “Pro-bono advice is an integral part in allowing justice to be accessible for all members of the community regardless of economic status. I hope that the Law Clinic will be able to expand further and be able to help more citizens in need in the future.”
Lorna has now graduated from Swansea University and is currently working as a paralegal at JCP Solicitors.

Inside Justice relies solely on charitable support 

Photo: Lorna Williamson was presented with her award by Dr Ann Priston OBE

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