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Scottish students called to enter Law Society debating tournament

08 September 2014 | tagged News release | Videos

Persuasive pupils from Scotland’s schools are invited to take part in the Law Society of Scotland’s annual debating tournament.

 The Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, the biggest school debating tournament in Scotland, is now accepting entries for the 15th year of the competition and the Society is encouraging all interested secondary schools to take part.

 Heather McKendrick, Education and Careers Manager at the Law Society said “We always get a fantastic response and were delighted to have schools from every local authority area competing last year. We’d love to see more schools that are fairly new to debating taking part in the 2014/15 tournament. In recent years we have seen teams who have entered the competition for the first time go on reach the final – and in one case to win the tournament – so would encourage even those who are new to debating to sign up and not let inexperience put them off.

 “Debating is great fun as well as helping pupils learn how to break down complex information, build convincing arguments and gain more confidence. It’s a skill that can be useful throughout their lives and an enjoyable way to maintain the high level of democratic interest and engagement that young people in Scotland have shown in the run up to the referendum.”

 The 2013/14 winners and runners up are featured in a Law Society video about the tournament which is now available to watch online:

 McKendrick added: “The June final in the Scottish Parliament’s debating chamber was an exciting finish to the last tournament, with superb performances from some very talented young people as they debated whether historic debt between Commonwealth countries should be written off.”

 The Law Society awards the first prize of £1,000 and the top two teams will share educational books to the value of £500 donated by the event sponsor, Hodder Gibson.

 Solicitors or those with experience of debating can get involved if they are interested in acting as a judge at the opening and regional heats.

The deadline for school’s applications is 26 September and the first rounds for all 128 teams will take place on 20, 26 November and 4 December. Further information about competing or judging in the tournament can be found at or contact


ENDS                                                                          8 September 2014


Notes to editors:


Established in 1999, Scotland’s largest annual schools debating tournament is open to pupils in all Scottish secondary schools. Organised and run by the Law Society of Scotland, the tournament is dedicated to the memory of the former First Minister Donald Dewar MSP, who died in 2000.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Sarah Sutton on 0131 476 8170. Email:


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