Debaters test their skills

The overall winners: the Emmaus College team.

Lance Rundle of CQUniversity and Paula Phelan of the Central Queensland Law Association organised a debating competition for high school students from Rockhampton in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 1 September.

The debating competition has become an annual event and this year students from The Cathedral College debated against Heights College on reforms of the Queensland Youth Justice Act, and students from Rockhampton Grammar School debated against Emmaus College on whether jury trials continue to be relevant in criminal law in today’s society.

The competition was adjudicated by Judge Clarke of the District Court, Magistrate Beckinsale and CQUniversity law lecturer Lance Rundle.

The Cathedral College and Emmaus College won their respective rounds of what was described by the adjudicators as a very close competition. The overall winner, which Lance Rundle described as no easy task to pick, was Emmaus College who were congratulated by Judge Clarke for their team work.

“The quality of the students was very impressive,“ said Lance Rundle.

“Their research skills showed they have considered their topics thoroughly and their persuasive style in the court room confirmed they are destined for careers in the law.

“The adjudicators congratulated the students on their team work in the court room, helping each other to rebut legal argument.“

“The annual debating competition gives year 10 students from schools across a Rockhampton an opportunity to be mentored by local solicitors of the CQLA who can help students narrow down their research using case law and legislation and the chance to stand up in a court room and advocate before members of the judiciary who are accustomed to legal argument,“ added Paula Phelan.

CQUniversity and the School of Business and Law are looking forward to working with the CQLA in 2022 to continue the competition given the great benefits the competition provides high school students who are studying legal studies.