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PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE COMPETITION (PDC)



1.    Title & Commencement
The ‘Legal Spectra, 2020 ― Parliamentary Debate Competition’, shall be held as per the schedule to be fixed by the organizing committee. Unless a contrary intention appears from the context, the following words and expression are used in the following sense―
·         PDC means ‘Legal Spectra, 2020 ― Parliamentary Debate Competition’.
·         LLS means the ‘Lex Literary Society, SNIL’.
·         Organizers / Administrators / Authority means ‘Members of Organizing Committee of Legal Spectra, 2020’.
·         Team means, Team registered for PDC composed of members from the participating Teams from the respective Law School/College/University in Legal Spectra, 2020.
2.    ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
·         The language of the Competition shall be English.
·         Undergraduate students pursuing three or five year courses of LL.B. degree from any Law School/College/University recognized by the Bar Council of India are eligible to participate.
·         Only one team can register from a particular law school/ College/ Institution/University to participate in the PDC.
·         Each team shall be composed of three (3) members only. No change in team composition under any circumstances whatsoever shall be permitted, once it has been communicated to the organizers.
3.    INTRODUCTION (FORMAT OF THE DEBATE)
·         The debate will consist of two teams of three persons each (persons will be known as "members"), a chairperson (known as the "Speaker of the House" or "Mister/Madame Speaker" and an adjudicator or panel of adjudicators.)
·         The Government Side and the Opposition Side will be decided by the Draw of lots.
·         The Members of the Government side consists of:
A.   The Prime minister (PM)-He/ She opens the debate, defines the motion and advances arguments.
B.   The Deputy Prime Minister (DPM)-He/ She refutes at first instance the case of the opposition, re-establishes the government’s claim, and advances arguments.
C.   The Government Whip (GW) - He/ She makes an issue-based rebuttal of the opposition's case and summarizes the case of the government.
·         The Members of the Opposition side consists of:
A.   The Leader of the Opposition (LO) - He/ She responds directly to the case of the government by giving a direct clash, and advances arguments. He/ She may challenge the motion if the definition is challengeable.
B.   The Deputy Leader of the Opposition (DPL) - He/ She refutes the case of the DPM, reestablishes the case of the opposition, and advances an argument.
C.   The Opposition Whip (OW) - He/ She makes an issue-based rebuttal of the government's case and summarizes the case of the opposition.
·         Members will deliver a substantive speech of seven (7) minutes duration and should offer points of information (POI) while members of the opposing teams are speaking.
4.    THE MOTION
·         The motion should be unambiguously worded.
·         The motion should reflect the standard rules of the Asian Style Parliamentary Debate.
·         The members should debate the motion in the true spirit.
5.    PREPARATION
·         The debate would commence 30 minutes after the motion is announced.
·         Teams should arrive at their venue 10 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time of the debate.
·         Members are permitted to use printed or written material during preparation and debate hours. Printed material includes books, journals, newspapers and other similar materials. The use of electronic equipment is strictly prohibited during preparation and in the debate.
6.    POINTS OF INFORMATION
·         Points of Information (questions directed to the member-speaking) may be asked between first minute mark and the 6-minute mark of the members’ speeches (speeches are of seven minutes duration).
                                  Illustration: Total time of speech = 07 minutes
07 minutes = 01 minutes + 05 minutes + 01 minutes




                                               POI



·         To ask a Point of Information, a member should stand & place one hand on his or her head and extend the other towards the member speaking. The member may announce that he/she would like to ask a "Point of Information" or use other words to this effect. The member who is speaking may accept or decline to answer the Point of Information.
·         Points of Information should not exceed 15 seconds in length.
·         The member who is speaking may ask the person offering the Point of Information to sit down where the offeror has a reasonable opportunity to be heard and understood.
·         Members should attempt to answer at least two (2) Points of Information during their speech. Members should also offer Points of Information.
·         Points of Information should be assessed in accordance with above Rule.
·         Points of Order and Points of Personal Privilege are not permitted.
7.    TIMING OF THE SPEECHES
·         Following are the time limit for each speaker (in order)
1.    1st Government Speaker (Prime Minister): 7 minutes
2.    1st Opposition Speaker (Leader of Opposition): 7minutes
3.    2nd Government Speaker (DPM): 7 minutes
4.    2nd Opposition Speaker (DPL): 7 minutes
5.    Government Whip Speaker (GW): 7 minutes
6.    Opposition Whip Speaker (OW) : 7 minutes
7.    Reply speech of Government: 4 minutes
8.    Reply speech of Opposition: 4 minute
NOTE: Reply speeches can be given only by the 1st or 2nd speaker of both the sides.
8. ADJUDICATION
·         The debate should be adjudicated by a panel of at least three (3) adjudicators, wherever this is possible.
·         At the conclusion of the debate, the adjudicators should confer and rank the teams.
9. DEFINITIONS
·         The Prime Minister (PM) should provide the definition of motion at the beginning of his or her speech.
·         The definition should state the issue (or issues) for debate arising out of the motion and state the meaning of any terms in the motion which requires interpretation.
·         The Definition must:
ü  Have a clear and logical link to the motion - This means that an average reasonable person would accept the link made by the member between the motion and the definition (where there is no such link the definition may sometimes be referred to as a "squirrel")
ü  Not be self-proving - A definition is self-proving when the case is that something should or should not be done and there is no reasonable rebuttal. A definition may also be self-proving when the case is that a certain state of affairs exists or does not exist and there is no reasonable rebuttal (these definitions are sometimes referred to as "truisms").
ü  Not be time set – This means that the debate must take place in the present and that the definition cannot set the debate in the past or the future.
ü  Not be place specified – this means that the definition cannot restrict the debate so narrowly to a particular geographical or political location that a participant of the tournament could not reasonably be expected to have knowledge of the place.
10. CHALLENGING THE DEFINITION
·         The Leader of the Opposition (LOP) may challenge the definition if it violates clause 12 of these rules. The Leader of the Opposition should clearly state that he or she is challenging the definition.
·         The Leader of the Opposition should substitute an alternative definition after challenging the definition of the Prime Minister.
11. ASSESSING DEFINITIONAL CHALLENGE
·         The adjudicator should determine the definition to be ‘unreasonable’ where it violates clause 12 of these rules.
·         The onus to establish that the definition is unreasonable is on the Member(s) asserting that the definition is unreasonable.
·         Where the definition is unreasonable, the opposition should substitute an alternative definition that should be accepted by the adjudicator provided it is not unreasonable.
·         Where the definition of the Opening Government is unreasonable and an alternative definition is substituted by the Opening Opposition, the Closing Government may introduce matter which is inconsistent with the matter presented by the Opening Government and consistent with the definition of the Opening Opposition.
·         If the Opening Opposition has substituted a definition that is also unreasonable, then the Closing Government may challenge the definition of the Opening Opposition and substitute an alternative definition.
·         If the Closing Government has substituted a definition that is also unreasonable (in addition to the unreasonable definitions of the Opening Government and Opening Opposition), the Closing Opposition may challenge the definition of the Closing Government and substitute an alternative definition.
12. MATTERS
The Definition of Matter:
·         Matter is the content of the members’ speech. It is the argument, a debater uses to further his or her case and persuade the audience.
·         Matter includes arguments, reasoning, examples, case studies, facts and any other material that attempts to support the case.
·         Matter includes positive (or substantive) material and rebuttal (arguments specifically aimed to refute the arguments of the opposing team(s)). Matter includes Points of Information.
  Elements of Matter:
·         Matter should be relevant, logical and consistent.
·         Matter should be relevant. It should relate to the issues of the debate.
·         Positive material should support the case being presented and rebuttal should refute the material being presented by the opposing team(s). The Member should appropriately prioritize and apportion time to the dynamic issues of the debate.
·         Matter should be logical. Arguments should be developed logically in order to be clear and well-reasoned and therefore plausible. The conclusion of all arguments should support the member’s case.
·         Matter should be consistent. Members should ensure that the matter they present is consistent within their speech, their team and the remainder of the members on their side of the debate.
·         All Members should present positive matter (except the final two members in the debate) and all members should present rebuttal (except the first member in the debate). The Government Whip may choose to present positive matter.
·         All Members should attempt to answer at least two (2) points of information during their own speech and offer points of information during opposing speeches.
    Assessing Matter
·         The matter presented should be persuasive. ‘The elements of matter’ should assist an adjudicator to assess the persuasiveness and credibility of the matter presented.
·         Matter should be assessed from the viewpoint of the average reasonable person. Adjudicators should analyze the matter presented and assess its persuasiveness, while disregarding any specialist knowledge they may have on the issue of the debate.
·         Adjudicators should not allow any bias to influence their assessment. Debaters should not be discriminated against on the basis of religion, sex, race, color, nationality, sexual preference, age, social status or disability.
·         Points of information should be assessed according to the effect they have on the persuasiveness of the cases of both the member answering the point of information and the member offering the point of information.
13. MANNER
Definition of Manner
·         Manner is the presentation of the speech. It is the style and structure a member uses to further his or her case and persuade the audience.
·         Manner is comprised of many separate elements. Some of these elements are listed below.
Elements of Style
·         The elements of style include eye contact, voice modulation, hand gestures, language, the use of notes and any other element which may affect the effectiveness of the presentation of the member.
·         Eye contact will generally assist a member to persuade an audience as it allows the member to appear more sincere.
·         Voice modulation will generally assist a member to persuade an audience as the debater may emphasize important arguments and keep the attention of the audience. This includes the pitch, tone and volume of the member’s voice and the use of pauses.
·         Hand gestures will generally assist a member to emphasize important arguments. Excessive hand movements may however be distracting and reduce the attentiveness of the audience to the arguments.
·         Language should be clear and simple. Members who use language which is too verbose or confusing may detract from the argument if they lose the attention of the audience.
·         The use of notes is permitted, but members should be careful that they do not rely on their notes too much and distract from the other elements of manner.
Elements of Structure
·         The elements of structure include the structure of the speech of the member and the structure of the speech of the team.
·         The matter of the speech of each member must be structured. The member should organize his or her matter to improve the effectiveness of their presentation.
·         The matter of the team must be structured. The team should organize their matter to improve the effectiveness of their presentation.
·         The team should contain a consistent approach to the issues being debated; and allocate positive matter to each member where both members of the team are introducing positive matter; and include: an introduction, conclusion and a series of arguments; and be well-timed in accordance with the time limitations and the need to prioritize and apportion time to matter.
14. ADJUDICATION
·         All the rounds will be on knock out basis.
·         The results for all the rounds of PDC except the championship/final round shall be announced shortly after each round.
·         The results of the championship round shall be announced at the valedictory ceremony.
·         The decision of the judges will be final and cannot be challenged.
15. MISCELLANEOUS
·         The result of the championship round will be announced at the valedictory ceremony.
·         All participants are expected to maintain the decorum in the House during the competition and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the legal profession.
·         The Organizers reserve the right to take appropriate action for any unethical, unprofessional and immoral conduct.
·         The number of rounds and the manner of selection of teams would be explained on the day of the competition.
·         The Rules specified herein above shall be strictly adhered to. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to disqualify teams for deviating from the Rules. The Committee will resolve any contingencies that may arise during the conduct of the PDC and will be the final arbiters regarding any doubts/ grievances. The decision taken by the Committee shall be final and binding. These rules are not exhaustive.



 

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