The international finals of both the ESU Schools Mace (national debating competition for schools) and the John Smith Memorial Mace (national debating competition for universities) took place at Dartmouth House on Sunday 29 April 2012.
Both competitions involved the winners of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh competitions battling it out for the title of International Mace Champion.
The schools competition consisted of two semi-finals and a grand final. The motion for both semi-finals was “this house believes that successful artists should have a special tax placed on them in order to fund developing artists.”In semi-final 1, Eton College (The English Champions) competed against Bishop of Llandaff High School (The Welsh Champions), with Eton being declared to be the winners of that debate. In semi-final 2, St. Conleth's College (The Irish Champions) competed against George Heriot's School (The Scottish Champions), with George Heriot’s emerging victorious from that debate. The motion from the grand final, between the English Champions and the Scottish Champions was “this house, as Iran, would actively pursue a nuclear weapons programme.” Eton took the proposition side and George Heriot’s took the opposition; and after 30 minutes of deliberations, the adjudication panel chaired by Maria English unanimously decided that Tommy Seagull and Harry Elliott of Eton College were The International Schools Mace Champions for 2012.
The international final of the Schools Mace was followed by the international final of the John Smith Memorial Mace. The universities competition consisted of one debate, with two proposition teams and two opposition teams. The motion for the international final debate was “this house believes the International Criminal Court should use bounty hunters to capture and, if necessary, kill indicted war criminals.” University College Dublin (The Irish Champions) were the first proposition team, Aberystwyth University (The Welsh Champions) were the first opposition team, Oxford Union (The English Champions) were the second proposition team, and Glasgow University Union (The Scottish Champions) were the second opposition team. The adjudication panel chaired by Chris Hawkins of Bailie Gifford declared Michael O’Dwyer and Ciarán Garrett of University College Dublin to be the International Champions of the John Smith Memorial Mace.
The ESU is incredibly grateful to George Yip who sponsors the Schools Mace, and to Bailie Gifford who sponsor the John Smith Memorial Mace. Their help and support allows the ESU to foster and develop excellence in debating at school and university. The standard displayed at last Sunday’s international final is a testament to their continued support.