Dec 1, 2016

The founding principle of all the activities of Zdenek and Michaela Bakala is, truly, the courage, which must, according to their belief, always go hand in hand with responsibility.
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Giordana Campagna


Marcus Tullius Cicero once said: “we are bound by the law, so that we may be free.” Much ink has been spilled on the questions raised by this statement. Is law a useful tool to achieve freedom, or are there better alternatives? How must the law be structured to make freedom possible? What if the law is unjust: are we still bound by it?

I have always been intrigued by questions relating to law, freedom, and justice more generally. My fascination for these topics was also the main reason why I decided to study law. I pursued my legal studies at the University of Zurich, where I obtained a Bachelor of Law degree in 2012, and a Master of Law degree in 2014.

During my studies, I discovered that particular fields of law such as Constitutional Law, Human Rights Law, and International Law are closely related to freedom and justice. I also realised that discussions about these issues are predominantly held among legal academics. In order to learn more about these matters and to partake in relevant discussions, I worked as a student assistant at chairs that deal with Constitutional Law, International Law, Human Rights Law, Philosophy of Law, and Roman Law.

Since I graduated from my Master of Law degree, I have been working as a research assistant at the Law Faculty of the University of Zurich. Specializing in Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law, I have co-authored scientific publications, taught classes, and supervised students.

With the generous support of the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala, I will be pursuing the Magister Juris (MJur) programme at the University of Oxford from September, 2015 to September, 2016. In my programme, I will delve into the legal and philosophical complexities of my fields of interest and will explore new approaches and solutions to the questions that fascinate me. The knowledge and experience I gain at Oxford will hopefully also bring me one step closer to answering the question raised by Cicero: do we need laws – and which laws do we need – in order for us to be free?

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