Margarida Santos Silva


  • Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) – part-time, distance learning (BPP Law School)
    • Independent Research Essay
    • Selected title: The right to freedom of expression is of fundamental importance. The abolition of the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel by s.79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 was therefore both legally required and morally right to protect freedom of speech. English and Welsh law now strikes a superior balance between the media’s right to freedom of expression and the rights of others not to be subjected to religious offence.
    • Courses
      • Year 1 Constitutional & Administrative Law, Tort Law, Contract Law
      • Year 2 EU Law. Land Law, Equity & Trusts, Criminal Law
    • Extra:
      • Street Law (with Essex University Law Society), Mooting
  • MA Politics – Merit (University of Essex)
    • Dissertation Research – 65% (2:1) Can Offence Be Justified? – A Case Study of the Danish Cartoon Controversy
    • This dissertation examines the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in the Danish publication Jyllands Posten in 2005, and sets standards using political theory by which to judge the controversy.
    • Courses
      • Contemporary Political Theory, Political Behaviour, Political Explanation, Rule & Resistance: Political themes in film and literature.
  • BSc Economics (Honours) – 2:2 (University of Essex)
    • Dissertation Research – 68% (2:1) The Effects of Unhealthy Behaviour on Labour Market Outcomes: Are There Differences Across Gender?
    • This project looks at the effects of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking on yearly wage in the UK using data from the General Household Survey (2006).

Elected Positions within the University of Essex

2009 – 2010 MA Course and Year Representative – Departmental Representative

I represented students within the Government department, attended Staff Student Liaison Committee meetings, and met with the Faculty Convenor and the Postgraduate Officer. I took notes and minutes, read through lengthy documentation and wrote reports.

2009 – 2010 Member of Welfare Committee – Welfare Committee and representative on Council

I set on Union Council and was part of ensuring that Union Policy oversaw the best interest of students. I worked with the Students Union full-time officers, running campaigns for disabled access improvements, responsible drinking attitudes, safe sex, and more.

2007 – 2009 Economics Department Representative – Union Council

Driven by a passion for justice, I represented the interests of the students in the department to the Students' Union, on a monthly term-time basis. Consultation with my constituency and a thorough understanding of the workings of the Union was required, as well as public speaking abilities and presentation skills.

2008 – 2009 Member of Women's Committee – Women's Committee

We held regular meetings to arrange raise awareness of women's issues through talks, debates, and productions such as the Vagina Monologues. We organised fudraising events and activities, provided information about basic safety services, promoted gender equality and cultural understanding.

2008 Member of Elections Committee – Elections Committee

Meeting daily to ensure the smooth running of any Union election, we worked closely with a returning officer from the National Union of Students. This is a job that requires impartiality, objectivity and the ability to read and interpret rules, address complaints, and take action that often cannot please everyone involved.

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