Top Law student heads to Oxford

10 September 2013
James Ruddell2
James Ruddell

This year’s top law undergraduate is about to take up a postgraduate law scholarship at Oxford University.

James Ruddell is the inaugural winner of the FMB Reynolds Scholarship which assists a New Zealander to study for the Bachelor of Civil Law degree at Oxford. The scholarship was initiated by Professor Peter Watts of the Auckland Law Faculty with the support of Oxford law alumni. It is named for Professor Francis Reynolds, an Oxford professor who has been a visiting lecturer on the Auckland LLM programme. James has also recently been awarded a Banking and Financial Services Law Association (BFSLA) Scholarship worth over $30,000.

Earlier this year James received the Auckland District Law Society Prize for the best undergraduate law student at Auckland University. His achievements in his B.A. have been no less than in law. He received a Senior Prize in History and in Politics in 2010.

Dean Andrew Stockley congratulated James on his achievements, noting that in addition to his academic accomplishments James had taken a full part in the wider life of the Law School and the University. He was Educational Vice President of the Auckland University Law Students’ Society in 2011 and was also one of the student leaders of the Equal Justice Project that year. James managed a team of 20 students who contributed legal advice and assistance to individuals and community groups on a wide range of topics including some related to the Bill of Rights and the Human Rights Acts. In 2012 James was Editor in Chief of the Auckland University Law Review and he has also had some of his own work published.

James’s contributions to the community include having been Chief Executive of SavY, a student-run charitable trust which runs financial literary workshops in high schools. During his term as Chief Executive in 2012, James increased the number of workshops and schools involved in the programme, expanded it from Auckland to include Hamilton, and made important reforms to the way in which the organisation is administered.

James is a keen debater and public speaker and represented Auckland at all the New Zealand interuniversity debating competitions and in 2012 at the World University Debating Championships in Botswana. He has coached school pupils, including the Northland Regional Schools Debating Team in 2010.

James’s intended subjects at Oxford are Commercial Remedies, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Corporate Insolvency and Conflict of Laws. Dean Stockley noted that the Faculty wished James the very best at Oxford: “James is an outstanding scholar. He has been a very effective student leader who has contributed a great deal to the Law School. He will undoubtedly do extremely well in Oxford and will be a great ambassador for the Auckland Law School.”