The Final of the World Online Debating Championships is being contested by England and Estonia. Created by Debatewise.com - the leading online debating organisation in association with the International Debate Education Association (idea) – the leading offline debating organisation, the competition pitted twenty five national teams from virtually every corner of the globe against each other in debating the big issues facing the world today.
Finalists England overcame Estonia in their semi final, on the subject of whether an EU wide tax on meat consumption would help save the planet. Fellow finalists Lithuania beat South Korea in the other semi final, arguing successfully that all evidence gathered by intelligence agencies should be admissible in a court of law. The motion for the final is: We should prize freedom over security and abolish anti terrorism legislation - The competition has been a great success so far and the standard of the debates has been extremely high as was expected by the organisers.
The panel of judges assembled for the WODC by Harvey-Smith, former head of the World Universities Debating Council, has been described as the best ever compiled for a debating competition. It is perhaps Harvey-Smith who best summarises the value of an event such as the WODC, “Whatever the reason for participants entering the Championships, whether for debating practice, for fun or to win, there can be little doubt that in these times of unpopular wars and financial meltdown the need for debate is as strong as it will ever be. The WODC provides a much-needed and valuable platform for such debate.”
The panel of judges for the final features some genuine debating heavyweights. Chief Adjudicator Neill Harvey-Smith, who himself is a former World Championship grand finalist. Omar Salahuddin has been hugely successful during his own debating career, winning the Asian Masters four times with Team Malaysia, where he currently resides. Fellow judges include Monica Ferris, Croat Branka Marusic, who is the former President of the Europeans Council, and Colm Flynn, former chair of the World’s Council and Deputy Chief Adjudicator of Worlds. The list is completed by Logan Balavijendran who served as chief adjudicator for Worlds 2005 in Malaysia and will reprise that role for Worlds 2011 in Botswana.
To register your interest as a participant in the World Online Debating Championships 2010 or to view completed or current debates, please visit: www.debatewise.com/pages/wodc-debates