LawLink January 2014

Student Features

NUS Law Wins Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championships

NUS Law emerge as victors again in the Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championships! The championships was organised by Beihang University, Beijing from 1 to 8 October last year. Kelvin Chong ’15 was named the best speaker in the finals; while teammates Xiao Hongyu ’14 and fellow law student Bryan Chan ’15 count among the top ten speakers in the competition. Winning the championships for the second time consecutively with team mate Hongyu, Kelvin gives LawLink an account of his exciting experience at the championships.


Eighth and ninth from the left: NUS Law student Kelvin Chong and Xiao Hongyu with the other prize winners at the awards ceremony held at the Park Plaza Hotel in Beijing.

Participating and winning the Asian British Parliamentary Debating Championship was quite a challenge for us this year. This was in part due to the pressure, which was placed on us as defending champions and also because the competition had gotten tougher with many teams competing as favourites to win. This was evidenced by the fact that we finished the preliminary rounds in third place, and neither of us finished as the top speaker.  
 
Thankfully, we managed to pick up some pace during the knockout rounds and made it to the finals where we were greeted by teams that had debaters with extremely strong credentials.  For instance, the team from Universiti Teknologi Mara consisted of a veteran four-time finalist of the competition and the Chief Adjudicator of the next World Championships. The team from the International Islamic University consisted of the top ‘English as a Second Language speaker of the World’ in 2012 and a newcomer who recently finished as the top ‘English as a Second Language speaker of the World’ in 2013.
 
Fortunately, the topic in the finals - This House Believes that Military Conscription should be regarded as a War Crime - was something that both Hongyu and myself were familiar with and we were able to apply some of the legal knowledge from our studies in NUS Law to the case that we were arguing. Thankfully, the judges were persuaded by us and we got the win!
 
Looking back, we are both very thankful and honoured to have been given the opportunity to further our interests in debating through the NUS Debate Club, which has been made possible by the support of the NUS Office of Student Affairs and also the NUS Faculty of Law, for their continuous support of our participation in such tournaments.

NUS was crowned the champion after defeating Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), International Islamic University (Malaysia) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (Malaysia) in a unanimous decision (7-0) in the finals. The annual debate tournament brought together 112 teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Macau and Japan. The teams competed in nine preliminary rounds of debates, which covered a wide range of current issues including some legal topics. 

Congratulations to the team! You have done the NUS community proud!

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