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Seniors Debating Programme

Often, we see people taking a position or stance contrary to their neighbours. Sometimes such a stance is based on ignorance, lack of understanding, social settings or influences, or misinformation. Sometimes it is simply the inability to listen, status quo or apathy.

Following the succesful piloting, a virtual International Debating Competition is being added to our academic calendar. Participants will be challenged by a controversial and current debate topic and receive lectures from passionate speakers for both opposing sides. Debating teams will be assigned at random and will provide the chance to engage with individuals of different backgrounds, cultures and values from across the world.

Each debate programme will run over a total of 6 weeks – 4 weekly lectures with 2 weeks to prepare for the live debate. Participants will engage with these lectures without knowing which side they are assigned to debate until the lectures have all taken place. Participants will also be required to include productions to support their position, which could include legislation, research, newsclips or anything of some authority.

Scoring will be a little unusual as 30% of the score will come from the live audience, proportioned as per their voting. The balance coming from the panel of judges. The winners will be the team with the highest overall score.

Debate 1

Should We Rid the World of Plastics

The programme will run over a total of 6 weeks – 4 weekly lectures with 2 weeks to prepare for the live debate. Each team will consist of 5 or 6 speakers. Lectures will focus on various core subjects that are connected to the debate topic such as maths, science, enviromental and medicine.

While the first speaker is able to debate like in any other debate, the following speakers will be 'specialists' debating on in terms of maths, science, environment and mankind. The final speaker will sum up.

Timetable can be found HERE

For Applications Closed - FULL

Debate 2

Judiciary Should be Independent of Government

A more traditional style debate, but again including lectures from prominent and passionate speakers, widening, rather than narrowing the areas of debate.

The programme will run over a total of 6 weeks – 4 weekly lectures with 2 weeks to prepare for the live debate. Each team will consist of 4 or 5 speakers.

Timetable can be found HERE

For Applications Closed - FULL

2021 / 2022 Academic year

Debate 3

Children Should be Raised Gender-Neutral

Debate 4

The Harm Caused by Social Media Outweighs the Good

Debate 5

Does True Democracy Exist?

Debate 6

The Media Dictates What We See and Believe

Debate 7

Does Promoting One Minority Group Prejudice Others?
(All Lives Matter)

A full knock-out competition to determine the overall winner.

Organisers & Judging Panel

Gerald Murphy

  • School Mock Court Case Project SCIO | Chamberlain McBain
  • Scotland / New Zealand
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees | Founder

Dorota Zabłudowska

  • District Court Judge | SSP Iustitia
  • Poland
  • Judge and spokesman of the Gdańsk Branch of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia, member of the Board of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia.

Ann-Kathrin Slupek

  • Department for Education and Sport of the City of Munich
  • Germany
  • Department of International Educational

Amina Amin

  • Jones Whyte LLP
  • Trainee | Notary Public

Emma Bruce

  • MacRoberts
  • Trainee

Madelaine Cassidy

  • Clyde & Co
  • Associate | Solicitor

Susan Christie

  • South Lanarkshire Council
  • Solicitor

Ling Deng

  • Thorntons
  • Solicitor

Daryle Dickson

  • South Lanarkshire Council
  • Mock Court Regional Rep | Solicitor

Saima Faheem

  • Peacock Johnstone
  • Solicitor | Notary Public

Nicola Hogg

  • West Lothian Council
  • Solicitor

Robert Hovey

  • Themis Advocates
  • Advocatec

Laura Krawczyk

  • UK Government
  • Dual Qualified Solicitor

Anne Miller

  • Thorntons
  • Solicitor

Safeena Rashid

  • Themis Advocates
  • Advocate

Angela Robertson

  • Thorntons
  • Solicitor

Rachael Ruth

  • Brodies
  • Solicitor

Elise Schwarz

  • Greirson Media
  • Tri-qualified Solicitor

Harbir Singh

  • Jackson Boyd
  • Solicitor

Jordan Smith

  • -
  • Director of Youth Engagement | Mock Court

Hayley Swansn

  • Morton Fraser
  • Solicitor

Campbell Swinley

  • Clyde & Co
  • Solicitor

Elaine Sym

  • Thorntons
  • Solicitor

Rebecca Thompson

  • Blackadders
  • Solicitor

Kirsty Waughman

  • Thorntons
  • Board of Trustees - Mock Court | Solicitor

Ross Wilson

  • DLA Piper
  • Trainee




Debate Rules are HERE

Speakers / Lecturers

Speakers for the 2021 / 2022 academic year will be posted here
in August 2021

David Azoulay

  • Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
  • Switzerland
  • French attorney who studied public international law in France and Spain before specializing in environmental law. Leads CIEL’s nanotechnology project and co-leads their plastic work, examining the environmental health aspects of it and coordinating civil society’s engagement in global policies forum such as the United Nation Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the Basel Convention.
  • Debate Plastics

Susan Craig (Sheriff)

  • Deputy Director of the Judicial Institute for Scotland
  • Scotland
  • Susan Craig is a sheriff of Lothian and Borders having been appointed in 2013 and a part-time sheriff since 2011. A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, she was litigation partner with Brodies WS until 2001 and partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn until her appointment as an employment judge in 2003. Sheriff Craig was a member of the Advisory Council to the Judicial Institute from 2014 and is the sheriff non-executive external member on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service People Committee. From 2013 to 2017 she was the Lothian and Borders elected representative on the Council of the Sheriffs’ Association and is on the Board of Governors of the Dean & Cauvin Young People’s Trust. She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 2015. Sheriff Craig was appointed by the Lord President as Deputy Director of the Judicial Institute for Scotland from September 2017.
  • Debate Judiciary

Paul Cruikshank

  • Solicitor
  • Scotland
  • Qualified solicitor working in a high street firm in Glasgow. Worked with the Law Society for around 5/6 years in the development and Growth of the Street Law program. In the most recent years, has been in developing lessons and training the Street Law Trainers who go into schools to take Street Law Lessons.
  • Debate Judiciary

David Dickson

  • Scottish Sentencing Council
  • Scotland
  • Was a defence solicitor and prosecutor and now works at the Scottish Sentencing Council which prepares guidelines for judges to take into account when sentencing. Also a long-standing judge in the Law Society’s Dewar Debate competition.
  • Debate Judiciary

Dr Marshall Garrett

  • Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medicolegal Medicine at Glasgow University
  • Scotland
  • Senior Lecturer in Medicolegal Medicine at Glasgow University and a Medical Expert Witness for nearly 30 years, with a background in trauma, both civilian and military.
  • Debate Plastics

Morwen Mands

  • Highland Spring
  • Scotland
  • Chartered Certified Accountant, previously Finance Manager at SSE. Been with Highland Spring since 2015 and recently promoted to the role of Head of Sustainability.
  • Debate Plastics

Amy Meek

  • Kids Against Plastics
  • England
  • Her charitable body raises awareness of plastic pollution and single-use plastic. To date, Kids Against Plastic have collected over 90,000 pieces of single-use plastic litter (and developed an app to log it!), conducted a TEDx talk, and launched several successful campaigns, including converting over 900 'Plastic Clever' Schools and some 50 cafes, businesses, festivals and even councils to operate as ‘Plastic Clever’.
  • Debate Plastics

Les Montgomery

  • Highland Spring
  • Scotland
  • An Accountant by trade, joined the firm in 1985, became Finance Director in 1993 and Chief Executive in 2008. Plastic water bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate – known as PET, but aims to have 50% made by recycled materials by 2022. Their green glass bottles contain at least 80% recycled glass. Plastic and Glass bottles 100% recyclable.
  • Debate Plastics

Iver Ørstavik

  • Rafto Foundation for Human Rights
  • Norway
  • Previously a university lecturer at Department of philosophy, University of Bergen whose field of academic competence is the modern tradition of German philosophy from Kant to Habermas, but also knowledgeable about political theory more broadly conceived, including general political philosophy, sociology of law and politics and human rights. Senior Advisor to the Rafto Foundation and Heads the partnership engagement with their recent laureates (Kashmir 2017 and Poland 2018)
  • Debate Judiciary

Laurent Pech

  • Middlesex University
  • England
  • Professor of European Law, Jean Monnet Chair of European Public Law (2014-17) and Head of the Law and Politics Department at Middlesex University London. Also a Visiting Professor of Law at Bordeaux University, an expert for eLabEurope, and a member of the editorial board of the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law as well as a member of the scientific board of the Montesquieu Law Review. specialises in EU Public Law and has lectured in a variety of subjects including EU Constitutional Law, EU Internal Market Law, EU Competition Law and EU Fundamental Rights Law.
  • Debate Judiciary

Doug Skinner

  • Greenpeace
  • England
  • Studied Marine Biology and worked in Human Genetics research at Queen Mary University before working in the pharma and medical industries. Interests: Marine Life, Climate Emergency, GM, Solutions.
  • Debate Plastics

Andrew Stevenson

  • Solicitor Advocate
  • Scotland
  • Former president of the Glasgow Bar Association and currently secretary of the Scottish Law Agents Society. Practises widely in virtually all areas of civil litigation and has appeared in both the Court of Session and many sheriff courts. Also an assistant editor of the Scottish Law Gazette and a columnist for The Scotsman newspaper.
  • Debate Judiciary

Sian Sutherland

  • Plastic Planet
  • England
  • Multi-award winner, including Female Marketer of the Year, CEW Achiever Award, Entrepreneur of the Year and British Inventor of the Year. Lobbied for new laws banning export of plastic waste, plastic taxes and the creation of the first PlasticFree.com materials and solutions library with blockchain partner IBM.
  • Debate Plastics