Latest News and Events - November 2014

Law students debate drugs decriminalisation issue

There’s nothing like a burning topic to get people talking and at this year’s LJMU Student Law Debating competition, in association with the Inner Temple, eight School of Law students debated the pros and cons of decriminalising drugs in the UK.

 The distinguished QC, Sir David Maddison judged the event and awarded the winning prize to final year LLB Law student Patrick Pereira for his fluid responses to points of information and calm delivery of his argument for decriminalisation. Joanne Boyle, final year LLB Law and Criminal Justice student was awarded the runner’s up prize for her natural style of orator and her ability to make a clear case against decriminalisation without an over-reliance on notes.

 The event, which was held at the Liverpool Guild of Students, was the second annual debate run in conjunction with the Inner Temple, organised by Senior Lecturers in law Dr Alison Lui and Eric Baskind.

 The student debaters were given the topic 15 minutes before the start of the event and were split into two teams; for decriminalisation of drugs and against.

 Patrick Pereira, Nozima Rakhimjonova, Renee Southern and Chris-Ann Cope argued for decriminalisation, while Sameeah Zahangir, Seun Odukogbe, Victoria Arogundade and Joanne Boyle argued against decriminalisation. Each side was given seven minutes per deposition to argue three points of legal principle, which would give them limited time to elaborate on each point and respond to requests for points of information from the opposition.

 During his summing up, Sir David Maddison said:

 "This is a fascinating topic which provokes a strong argument whenever it’s discussed. Each of today’s debaters came desperately close to one another and each of the speakers showed ability and remarkable courage given the tight timescales they were given. I hope that this has been a valuable learning experience for those who wish to pursue a future career in advocacy. Liverpool John Moores University and the Inner Temple are to be commended for promoting and supporting this event."

Commenting on the event, Dr Alison Lui said:

 "The finalists found out the motion 15 minutes before the start of the debate and so did very well to stand up and talk so compellingly on the subject for seven minutes. I’d like to congratulate each of the participants on their performance for which they should be very proud. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the Inner Temple, my colleagues and students who supported this competition."

 Patrick Pereira commented:

 "This was a great opportunity to learn and practise various different debating skills, as well as gaining experience in an area of public speaking I was previously unfamiliar with. The competition is a must for anyone wishing to improve their public speaking skills, and to showcase that they can think under pressure and on their feet."

 Joanne Boyle added:

 "I applied for the Inner Temple debate to work on my articulation. It gave me the opportunity to develop my confidence and improve my public speaking skills. I was given feedback which allowed me to work on my strengths and weaknesses throughout all of the rounds. Next year, I will definitely come along and watch the debate and I do hope the motion is just as provoking."

Page last modified 01 December 2014.

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