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Arguments open in this year's Donald Dewar Debating Tournament

17 November 2017

Pupils from schools across Scotland have begun arguing the opening round of this year's Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament for schools, organised by the Law Society of Scotland.

Now in its 19th year, the contest is the largest schools debating tournament in Scotland. The first round features 128 teams from 98 Scottish schools, with 21 schools competing for the first time.

Between 16 and 18 November the teams will contest the motion that "monuments to controversial figures should be removed".

Further rounds will take place early next year, with the semi-finals in the spring. The winning team will receive £1,000 for their school from the Society.

Heather McKendrick, head of careers and outreach at the Society, commented: “Young people in Scotland characteristically show impressive levels of political awareness and democratic engagement.

"The right to free speech is a key component of our political culture and we relish the opportunity to learn from historical difficulties, ‘Lest we forget’ being a topical example. So we’ve set our teams a real challenge by asking them to debate whether ‘monuments to controversial figures should be removed’."

She added: “We’re also delighted to have a brand new sponsor, TC Young on board and welcome back Hodder Gibson, who have been long term supporters and sponsors of the debate.

“On another note, we are always on the lookout for people with experience or an interest in debating to act as judges. I can guarantee a really interesting and enjoyable experience.”

For further information about judging in the tournament, go to or contact


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