• Is Birmingham still the second city? – Local university students debate the issue

  • 25 March 2011

  • The inaugural Birmingham Law Society (BLS) Debating Competition final was held this month at Squires, Sanders and Dempsey with a team from The College of Law becoming the first winners of this new and exciting inter-educational competition.

    Student teams from the University of Birmingham were up against a team from The College of Law for the final and they debated the question ‘Is Birmingham the UK’s second city?'

    The competition, sponsored by Birmingham barristers chambers St Philips and No5 Chambers, has been launched as an opportunity for students to develop their debating skills.

    Professor Bernardette Griffin, from The College of Law said: “Debating skills are an important element of being a lawyer and also a business professional. There has been a great deal of coverage regarding Birmingham’s position as the second city and each team attacked the subject with vigour and enthusiasm."

    The competition began in the autumn within the three Birmingham based universities – University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University and Aston University plus The College of Law. The best teams from each institution competed in the semi finals when they debated whether prisoners should have the right to vote.

    110325 Is Birmingham still the second city? – Local university students debate the issue 1
    (L-R) Hannah Couchman, Patrick Croft and Alex Walker - The College of Law’s winning team - with Dean Parnell, Birmingham Law Society (in front)

    Dean Parnell, President of the BLS, said: “Birmingham Law Society commenced this initiative to try to engage more with local university students and bridge the divide between being a student in this city and being a lawyer.  This has been a great event and we are in the process of launching student membership for all law undergraduates.

    110325 Is Birmingham still the second city? – Local university students debate the issue 2
    Back row (L-R) - Dean Parnell, Sydney Mitchell and BLS President; Mohammed Zaman QC, St Philips chambers; Linden Thomas, Martineau and president of the Birmingham Trainee Solicitors Society, Bernard Shepherd, HBJ Gately Wareing and Gareth Evans QC, No5 Chambers.
    Front Row (L-R) - Patrick Croft, Hannah Couchman, Alex Walker 

    “I would like to thank leading legal figures in the Midlands who supported this competition and to those who gave up their time to judge the semi finals and the final. We certainly hope to have this competition as an annual event and we are also exploring the possibility of a national event run in connection with other local law societies where each region puts forward their best team.”