Congratulations to Mhairi Sinclair and Helen Whalley, Peebles High School (pictured below with Linda Fabiani MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer, Alison Atack, President of the Law Society of Scotland and Jim Bauld, Partner, TC Young) who became Scotland's best young debaters after winning the final of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament 2017/18 after debating for only 18 months!
The final of our 19th competition took place on the evening of Thursday 7 June in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament where the audience and judges were treated to an evening of fantastic debate.
Well done also to our runners up from Perth High School, Luca Delpipo and Fraser Macdonald and our other finalist schools Strathallan School and Lenzie Academy.
Pictured from left to right back row: Steven Roy (past participant of the Donald Dewar Debate and Judge), Jim Bauld (Partner, TC Young), Sarah McWhirter (Slater and Gordon and Judge), Adam McKinlay (Faculty of Advocates and Presiding Judge), Andrew Stevenson (Glasgow Bar Association), Luca Delpipo and Fraser Macdonald (Perth High School), Sandy MacDonald and Lucas Higham (Lenzie Academy) and Jon Dye (Past Chairman, English Speaking Union Scotland).
Front row: Ivan Kapelyukh (past participant of the Donald Dewar Debate), Aidan Fuge and Holly McLeod (Strathallan School), Riya Banerjee, Hutcheson's Grammar School (winner of the best floor speech, Mhairi Sinclair and Helen Whalley (Peebles High School) alongside Linda Fabiani MSP and Alison Atack, President, Law Society of Scotland.
In November 2017, 128 teams across Scotland entered the first round of the competition debating the the motion 'This house believes that monuments to controversial figures should be removed'
64 teams competed in the second rounds of the competition in January 2018 debating whether or not 'Democratic countries should boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia'
With the motion remaining unseen until one hour before the debate begins and no access permitted to computers, phones or books, the semi-finals are a testament to the debaters skills and the motion for this year's semi-finals was 'This house would introduce gender quotas for parliament'
2017/18's final was held on Thursday 7 June in the Scottish Parliament's prestigious debating chamber. Our four finalist teams were judged by an expert panel with the proceedings overseen by Deputy Presiding Officer, Linda Fabiani MSP.
The finalists, in an impressive performance debated the motion 'This house believes that physician assisted suicide should be legalised'.
Winners: Peebles High School (Mhairi Sinclair and Helen Whalley)
Runners Up: Perth High School (Luca Delpipo and Fraser Macdonald)
Finalists: Strathallan School (Aidan Fuge and Holly McLeod) and Lenzie Academy (Sandy MacDonald and Lucas Higham)
Best Floor Speech: Hutcheson's Grammar School (Riya Banerjee)