Media Release: Pupils invited to enter 2012 schools debating tournament

SCOTTISH pupils with a talent for talking are encouraged to enter the Law Society of Scotland annual debating tournament.

Up to 128 teams can compete in the opening rounds of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament and the Society is encouraging those who may be new to debating, as well as those with previous experience, to take part in the 2012-2013 competition.

Heather McKendrick, education and training development officer at the Law Society, said: “We always have a fantastic response from school debating teams right across the country but we also want to encourage those schools which may be fairly new to debating and competing to enter.

“There’s every chance that they can follow in the footsteps of some of our previous contestants and make it right through to the final as it’s not necessarily those teams with most experience who take home the cup.

“Debating is good fun and it also helps pupils gain new skills and confidence in putting forward cohesive and persuasive arguments, which is not only useful for their studies at school and beyond, but throughout their working lives.”

She added: “We’re always keen to recruit new judges for the opening rounds too and local solicitors or people with debating experience can also contact us if they are interested in getting involved.”

Publishers, Hodder Gibson, remain as tournament sponsors this year and donate educational books to the value of £500 which are shared between the winners and runners up. The winners also receive the tournament trophy and £1,000 for their school

Solicitors or anyone with experience of debating can also get involved if they are interested in acting as a judge at the opening and regional heats, particularly at schools in rural areas.

The closing date for entry is October 19 2012, with the first heats due to start in November. Further information about competing and judging, and the online form for submission for all teams can be found in the ‘schools’ section under ”education and careers’ on the Society’s website at

For further information about becoming a tournament judge or entering the tournament please contact


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 Val McEwan on 07825 206468 or Katy Elliot on 0131 4768126.

14 September 2012

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