Watch Lanark pupils live in national debate

Ready for debate... Lanark Grammar duo Rachael Miller and Rhianna  McGrath (Pic by Sarah Peters)
Ready for debate... Lanark Grammar duo Rachael Miller and Rhianna McGrath (Pic by Sarah Peters)

RESTRICTING media coverage of terrorist attacks will be the subject of debate at Holyrood this Thursday when young debaters from across Scotland gather for the final of the Law Society of Scotland Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament 2015.

And Lanark Grammar students Rachael Miller and Rhianna McGrath are among the speakers.

This is the culmination of a tournament which involved 128 teams from schools across Scotland. In the earlier rounds of this year’s contest, pupils debated subjects ranging from banning opinion polls in the run up to elections, to Doctors’ reporting of domestic violence.

Chaired by Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith MSP, the final sees four teams battle for the first prize. The teams taking part are from St Mary’s Music School (Edinburgh), Lanark Grammar, Madras College (St Andrews) and Prestwick Academy.

Speaking ahead of the final, Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith MSP said:

“It is fitting that the final of the Dewar Debate takes place in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament, where laws are scrutinized and issues affecting the lives of everyone in Scotland debated.

“All of the finalists are to be congratulated for making it through a tough series of heats and semi-finals to reach the grand final and I am looking forward to chairing what promises to be a lively debate.”

The event will be webcast live on the Parliament’s website from 18.30 to 21.50 (www.scottish.parliament.uk/tv) on Thursday June 4.

Established in 1999, Scotland’s largest annual schools debating tournament is open to pupils in all Scottish secondary schools. The competition aims to promote an understanding of the importance of debate, advocacy and communication to the legal profession, democracy and society at large. Organised and run by the Law Society of Scotland, the tournament is dedicated to the memory of the late First Minister Donald Dewar MSP.

The debate is also great practice for the Lanark girls, as both intend to study law.

The winning school will receive a trophy and prize of £1,000, donated by the Law Society of Scotland, and runners-up will receive £250, donated by The Glasgow Bar Association. All finalists receive individual quaichs and certificates.