The Law Society of Scotland is calling for people with an interest in debating to sign up as judges for the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament 2017/18.

At the same time, every high school in Scotland is receiving a written invitation to enter a team or teams.

Now in its 19th year, over 120 teams registered to compete in last year’s competition, making it the largest schools debating tournament in Scotland.

The tournament takes place over four rounds with a panel of three judges required for each debating session, meaning that 96 judges are needed in the first round.

Heather McKendrick, Head of Careers and Outreach at the Law Society said "Our judges are an absolutely fundamental part of the tournament, particularly in the opening rounds when we will have over 100 teams taking part in sessions at venues across Scotland.

"No experience of judging is necessary, though an interest and experience in debating is always welcome and we are particularly keen to hear from people who are available to judge early rounds in rural areas of the competition.

“Debating is a great way for young people to develop their analytical thinking and debating skills and the final, traditionally held in the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber, is always particularly exciting, for both the debaters and judges’.

Established in 1999 and dedicated to the memory of the former First Minister Donald Dewar MSP, the debate has a long term supporter in Hodder Gibson, Scotland’s number one educational publisher. This year, the Law Society is pleased to welcome a second sponsor, law firm TC Young.

Andrew Cowan, Managing Partner at TC Young said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament – this is an outstanding forum for young people from all over Scotland to develop and demonstrate their debating skills.”

The opening rounds will take place in November and December. Further information about judging in the tournament can be found on our website  or you can email us here.  .

The 2013/14 winners and runners up are featured in a Law Society video about the tournament which is available to watch online and you can view images from the 2017 final here.

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