A ban on referendums is the proposal to be argued in the opening round of the Law Society of Scotland’s annual debating tournament for schools, which gets underway this month.

The 2016-17 Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament will see 128 teams from 85 Scottish schools debate the motion "This House would ban referendums". Now in its 17th year, the competition is the biggest school debating tournament in Scotland and 10 schools will be competing for the first time this year.

Contests take place on 17, 24 and 29 November, with further rounds early next year and semi-finals in the spring. The winning team will win £1,000 for their school from the Law Society of Scotland and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.

Heather McKendrick, head of careers and outreach at the Society, said: “Young people in Scotland have shown great democratic awareness and interest over the past few years, particularly during the Scottish independence and EU referendums. We’ve set our teams a real challenge by asking about the benefits and drawbacks of holding referendums and I’m looking forward to hearing the arguments they put forward."

The Society is still looking for volunteer judges: click here for further information.