Piero Rios Carrillo

piero rios carrillo

St Cross Faculty of Law Scholarships

MJur (2021)

When I applied to the Faculty of Law of Universidad Católica San Pablo (Arequipa, Peru), I was not sure that I wanted to become a lawyer. There barely were lawyers in my family, and I thought, at that time, that studying law was just expedient. In the very first lecture, however, two questions on the board called my attention: ‘What is justice?’ and ‘Is it law related to justice?’ These questions made me think that perhaps there was a meaningful point in studying law: the pursuit of justice and truth. I immediately started to look for answers, develop a genuine curiosity for the subject, and became a committed student. After almost eight years, many things have happened. Now I am reading for the Magister Juris at the University of Oxford.

In my MJur I am currently taking three options: International Dispute Settlement, International Economic Law, and Jurisprudence & Political Theory. These correspond to my experience and interest in international law and legal philosophy. On the other hand, I am also writing a dissertation, which is the most exciting part of my experience. I am working on an alternative methodological model for rational decision-making in hard cases concerning human rights. The research is being supervised by Professor Ruth Chang, and I hope it will become a novel theory of legal argumentation. But that is a long-term investigation yet to be done (perhaps as a DPhil project).

I chose the University of Oxford because it is, in my estimation, the best in the world in terms of legal philosophy. Ever since I started my legal studies, I noticed that the majority of the most important legal thinkers of the twentieth century either studied or taught at Oxford: HLA Hart, Joseph Raz, Ronald Dworkin, John Finnis, Neil MacCormick, John Gardner, and Ruth Chang are just a few examples of scholars who I admire. It was, and still is, my sincere motivation to become part of Oxford’s rich history by attempting to make an intellectual contribution that may, I hope, be useful.

I should like to show my gratitude to St Cross College and the Law Faculty. The scholarship awarded has been of crucial importance in meeting my offer’s financial conditions. It could have been impossible for me to join Oxford without the College’s generous support, and I am deeply grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to be part of St Cross’ vibrant community of scholars, from whom I always learn something new and exciting.