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Bond law sends students to international debating competition

Law student debaters Kate Malouf, Felicity Young, Tim Noonan and Luke Lovegrove represented Bond at the Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championship (Australs) at Universiti Teknologi MARA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 14-23 July.

The team was sponsored by the Faculty of Law and the Bond Debating Union (BDU). Australs is the second largest debating competition in the world and is arguably one of the highest quality competitions, attracting a high calibre of competitors from around the globe, including Auckland, Hong Kong and Thailand.

The tournament involves eight debates over three days, with topics designed to engage and challenge competitors to produce high quality debates with deep analysis. The Bond team argued everything from abolishing tenure for professors, granting Edward Snowden presidential amnesty, the merits of corporal punishments and the potential harms of the ‘gay is the new black’ campaign.

The team came out with three wins out of eight, a solid result given that most universities usually win a maximum of two debates at their first Australs.

Student adjudicator Luke Lovegrove came out of the training and assessment day as a solo adjudicator, and moved on throughout the tournament to chair panels of junior adjudicators and to teach trainees. Moving his way up, Luke adjudicated high level rooms in both the open and English as a second language (ESL) brackets and was even chosen to adjudicate the quarter finals for the ESL bracket which is a fantastic achievement.

“For a young debating university such as Bond, which has only competed twice at a national level, sending a team to Australs was a huge step,” said Tim Noonan

“This could not have been done without the overwhelming support of the University, faculty sponsorship, as well as coaches Shuktika Bose and Daniel Markos,”he said.

The skills developed in debating are invaluable to law students. On one side it enhances public speaking and oratory skills, whilst developing a focus on delivering succinct arguments. At a deeper level it fosters deep analysis and in-depth arguments, all of which have to be developed under serious time constraints (half an hour of preparation time). The BDU holds master classes each semester for students to develop these skills.

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