2023/24 Tournament registration is now open!

Team Registration

The Donald Dewar Memorial Debate Tournament 23/24 Team Registration is now open, please fill out the team registration survey here. Registration will close on 2 October and teams will be confirmed a place on a first come first served basis. We recommend all teachers entering the competition to read the Tournament Handbook and Judges Guide. 

Judge Registration 

The Donald Dewar Memorial Debate Tournament 23/24 Judge Registration is now open, please fill out the judges registration survey here. We recommend all our judges to read the Tournament Handbook and Judges Guide. 

We rely heavily on our volunteer judges to make the tournament a reality. To ensure high judging standards, new judges to the tournament should read judges information thoroughly and watch the mandatory training webinar. The first round of the tournament will take place as an online debate in November however it should be noted all subsequent rounds will be held as in person debates. If you have missed registration however you are still interested in the judging please contact, debate@lawscot.org.uk

Tournament Handbook & Judges Guide for 2023/24


The 2022/23 Donald Dewar Debating Tournament Final

The final of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament 2022/23 took place on Thursday 14 June 2023, the four finalist teams debated the motion, 'This house supports government intervention to prevent gentrification'. 

This year's national final was held at Edinburgh Napier University, with registered judges and pupils who participated in earlier rounds in attendance to watch the live final in in action.

The teams who competed in the national final were: 

  • George Watsons College
  • Balfron High School
  • Broxburn Academy
  • Albyn School 

After a closely fought debate and some close judge's deliberation. Broxburn Academy were crowned the winners of the tournament. Balfron High School came in runners up place. The winners, Broxburn Academy, received £1,000 for their school, while the runners up, Balfron High School, received £250 – with the second prize donated by the Glasgow Bar Association. Both schools will receive educational books to the value of £500, provided by tournament sponsors Hodder Gibson Publishing. All finalists received a commemorative plate to mark their success. 

After the excitement of the final, if you are interested in entering a team for next year's tournament, please contact debate@lawscot.org.uk

You can read the full press release on the debate final here.

Whether you are experienced or new to debating, get involved with Scotland's biggest high school debating competition today. Debating is a great way to learn and develop new skills, but can also improve your public speaking skills and develop your self-confidence. David Blair, a past participant and now a judge in the tournament, explains how being involved has helped him in his role as a solicitor.

Information for teams

Find out how to enter a team for the debate and read case studies from past competitors.

Information for judges

Whether you're a law student, a trainee, a practicing or retired solicitor or just love debating, we'd love to hear from you!