Donald Dewar Memorial Debate Tournament 2019/20

Pupils from 32 teams from schools across Scotland are through to the second stage of the Law Society of Scotland’s national debating tournament. The winning teams successfully put forward their arguments to the motion, ‘This House would introduce compulsory National Civic Service for all 15 and 16-year-olds’.

The annual Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament is now in its 21st year and is the biggest competition of its kind in Scotland, with 64 teams putting their powers of persuasion to the test in the opening round.

Lyndsey Thomson, careers and outreach coordinator at the Law Society, said: “We’ve had an excellent start to this year’s Donald Dewar Debating Tournament with high standards of debating being demonstrated in the first round. It’s great to see that one of the successful teams is from a school taking part in the competition for the first time.

“Many schools now have debating clubs and they really encourage pupils to learn how to build convincing arguments and give them a voice to express their views and opinions. Debating is a great skill to have and it’s been really encouraging to see so many schools entering teams in the tournament this year.”

Second round heats will take place in January and the semi-finals will be held in early spring before the grand final in June.

The Law Society awards first place a 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.

If you have experience of debating and would be interested in getting involved as a judge, please contact Further information about judging in the tournament can also be found at The second-round heats will take place on Thursday 23 and Tuesday 28 January.

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