Broxburn Academy victorious in Law Society debating final

Broxburn Academy victorious in Law Society debating final

Pictured (L-R): Susan Murray with Finlay Sayers and Sarah Pym from Broxburn Academy and president of the Glasgow Bar Association, Tracey Mulholland

Two pupils from Broxburn Academy have been crowned the winners of 2024’s Donald Dewar Memorial Debate tournament.

The judging panel chose Sarah Pym and Finlay Sayers as victors over three rival teams from Nairn Academy, Balfron High School and Bearsden Academy in the tournament’s final at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh on the evening of Wednesday, 12 June 2024.

The four teams debated the motion: “This house believes that time travel should be banned, even if it is technologically feasible.”

Broxburn went up against Nairn Academy in the evening’s first debate, followed by Balfron High School against Bearsden Academy. The judging panel selected Harry Braid and Jasper Burnside from Balfron High School as the runners up while praising all participants on the night.

Law Society of Scotland president, Susan Murray, and the society’s executive director of education, training, and qualifications, Liz Campbell, were among those in attendance at the final, and congratulated the winners and all 64 teams who took part across all stages of the tournament.

Ms Campbell said: “Congratulations to Sarah Pym and Finlay Sayers for your victory in what was such a tight contest. I really enjoyed seeing the strong and intelligent arguments put forward by all four teams, and you should all be so proud of having made the final!

“I’d like to extend my thanks to our chair, Daniel Howie, and our fantastic judges David Dickson, Rhys Bradley, Paul Cruikshank, Erin Grieve and Nathan Adam as well as all the schools, teachers, parents and the 128 pupils who have given so much time and energy to the tournament. It’s been inspiring to see the talent on display and we look forward to seeing some of these young people build on their skills and join the solicitor profession in the future.

“The Donald Dewar Memorial Debate Tournament has now been challenging and inspiring young people for 25 years. As the Law Society itself celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2024, we’re proud of our work with school pupils and university students.”

The winners, Broxburn Academy, received £1,000 and a trophy plate from the Law Society of Scotland, while second place, Balfron High School, received £250 thanks to the Glasgow Bar Association.

There was also a floor debate on the night for school pupils in the audience who had competed in previous rounds. The floor prize winners were Hannah McLaughlin from The Royal High School and George Murphy from George Heriot’s School who each received a commemorative plate.

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