This Competition allows you to build upon a broad range of skills such as persuasion, research, public speaking and the ability to think on your feet.
Date and timings:
- Preliminary Round One & Two + Semi-finals – Saturday 4 March 2017
- Finals – 16th of March, 3pm, Room TBC
- All students in all year groups
- Members of one of four societies: University of Leicester Law Society;
- A trophy for the winning team
- Opportunity to compete in external debating competitions
Did you watch the 2016 general election leaders’ debates? These give a pretty accurate insight into how the debating competition will be run, and so will be a good starting point if you are interested.
You will be given an issue (the motion) (e.g. “should the NHS be privatised?”) and there will be two teams of three, each of which has to argue their given perspective, that is; for and against (the Proposition or Opposition), however you do not get to choose the perspective, which makes it challenging as you may not agree with what you are arguing yourself. On the day, each team takes turns in presenting an argument supporting their stance in front of judges who will determine a winner based on a number of categories like presentation and strength of argument (see score-sheets). You also get the chance to have an open debate (can get quite heated at times!), as well as answer questions directly from the judges.
Upcoming motions will cover current issues, and may cover such subjects as:
- “Is the UK doing enough, ethically and practically, in assisting with the Syrian refugee crisis?”
- “Failure to render reasonable assistance to a person in serious danger should become a criminal offence.”
- “There is no place in this world for nuclear weapons; the UK should scrap their trident nuclear deterrent programme and any plans for a replacement.”
When preparing for a debate, ensure that you have covered your arguments in as much detail as possible, using facts and sources where you can. Each team member should touch upon a different aspect of the topic and you should be aware of any counter-arguments that could arise. This way you can be as prepared as possible during the debate and judges questions.
When conducting a debate there are many areas you will be judged upon. These include the clarity, content, team functioning, maintaining a professional and respectful etiquette, and how natural your argument flows including the extent to which it is scripted. Keeping within time limits is also an important element to keep in mind.
This is a really good opportunity to hone your lawyer skills on a wide array of controversial and current issues. Good luck!
This year’s debating competition will be somewhat different to previous years, with an emphasis on creating real debate and a serious reduction on the use of script and flashcards. We do not want participants to be script reading.
- Inter-Varsity Debate Competition(s)
- Qualification for entry: Winning Team/Runners-up of the internal competition.
For more information, please contact our Competition Secretaries, Yukit Tang (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lena Touchard (email@example.com).