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26 August 2008

The Cleary Gottlieb Cambridge IV 2008

We are pleased to announce details of this year's Cambridge IV, sponsored by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. The competition will take place on Friday 14th November and Saturday 15th November.

We will have five preliminary rounds breaking to quarter-finals with open motions and there will be an ESL break for the first time. The team cap this year will be one hundred teams with an institution cap of three teams.

Our chief adjudicator is Mr James Dray, who is the current EUDC 2008 champion and was a finalist of Worlds 2007 and our deputy chief adjudicator is Mr Bob Nimmo, who was EUDC champion 2005 and Worlds finalist 2007. The Cambridge IV has always had one of the best judging panels of any competition and this year will be no different with adjudicators including Mr Nick Long (Worlds 2008 semi-final judge), Ms Mhairi Murdoch (Worlds 2008 finalist), Mr Ranald Clouston (Worlds 2007 finalist) and Mr Adam Bott (two-time Oxford IV winner).

We are very proud to be the largest open motion, British Parliamentary competition in this country. The competition allows teams to react to unusual definitions and to practise difficult positions in the British Parliamentary format – skills which are becoming increasingly important in order to do well at international competitions. You will also gain experience through competing against other international institutions and receiving feedback from some of the best judges on the circuit. All in all, it's a great way to prepare for this year's Worlds.

The registration fee will be £75 per team. Included in this registration fee will be food and alcohol on both Friday and Saturday nights, breakfast on the Saturday morning, accommodation for both nights and our famous black-tie social on the Saturday night, held after the Grand Final. There will be no registration fee for judges and n-1 will be enforced for IONA institutions.

We will also be providing a free international package for non-IONA institutions, which includes training on Thursday 13th November from our excellent debating coaches, entry to the famous Cambridge Union debate that night (subject to availability) and accommodation for the Thursday night. There will also be time for sightseeing around Cambridge.

We recognise that the registration fee might seem too high for some institutions and we believe that this should not prevent access for small debating societies and those who truly cannot afford it. Consequently, there is a possibility of a few registration fee discounts to institutions which did not attend last year's Cambridge IV and can prove that they have substantial financial difficulties. To apply for such a discount, please e-mail us at and we will deal with each individual case sensitively.

Registration for teams and judges will open on Friday, August 29 at 1200 BST. A representative from your institution should complete our registration form which will be available on the 'IV Tournament' section of the Cambridge Union website: After you register, a reply will be sent back within a day asking you to confirm your details. If you have any problems with the application process, please e-mail us at This year, places at the Cambridge IV will only be guaranteed after payment. You can choose to pay by Paypal (with standard debit or credit cards) or by cheque in British pound sterling. Instructions for payment will be sent to the institution representative after they have registered.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the competition, please contact us through our e-mail address: Please join our Facebook group 'The Cleary Gottlieb Cambridge IV 2008' to be kept informed of the latest announcements.

We looking forward to seeing you all at the Cambridge IV,

Richard Lau & Sam Block
Convenors of the Cambridge IV 2008

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