City University English Debating Team


British Parliamentary Debate WUDC Activities Photos

The English Debating Team (EDT) consists of a group of students who are keen to debate issues of local and international interests in English.

Currently we have around 30 members and several alumni who are coming to help the team. The Team Captain of 2014/15 year is Anas Khan, a year 3 Finance student who has participated in several intervarsity and international debate tournaments.

The style of debate our team practices is mainly British Parliamentary ("BP"). Motion is given on the day of debating and each team would have 15 minutes to prepare for the speeches. Each speaker in the team has to give a 7 minute speech on issue of world's significance.

The intervarsity tournament we take part in is called Joint Universities Debating Competition ("JUDC"). 6 universities in Hong Kong (BU, CityU, CUHK, HKU, HKUST, PolyU) compete among each other in the tournament.

This year City University will Host JUDC and participate in multiple intervarsity and open tournaments the World.

British Parliamentary Debate

Many university level institutions in English speaking nations sponsor parliamentary debate teams, but the format is currently spreading to the high school and middle school levels as well. Despite the name, the Parliamentary style is not related to debates in governmental parliaments.

BP Basics:
In BP there are 4 teams (2 debaters in a team, so 8 debaters in total) in each round. Two teams represent the Government, and two teams represent the Opposition. The Government supports the resolution, and the Opposition opposes the resolution. The teams are also divided into the Opening and Closing halves of the debate. The teams are organized like this in the room:

Government (Proposition) Opposition
Upper house (upper half) Opening Government (OG) Opening Opposition (OO)
Lower house (lower half) Closing Government (CG) Closing Opposition (CO)

There are two speakers on each team. Each speaker has a title. The titles are:

OG: Prime Minister OO: Leader of the Opposition
Deputy Prime Minister Deputy Leader of the Opposition
CG: Member of the Government CO: Member of the Opposition
Government Whip Opposition Whip

The speaking order is as follows:

  1. Prime Minister First Speaker, OG
  2. Leader of the Opposition First Speaker, OO
  3. Deputy Prime Minister Second Speaker, OG
  4. Deputy Leader of the Opposition Second Speaker, OO
  5. Member of the Government First Speaker, CG
  6. Member of the Opposition First Speaker, CO
  7. Government Whip Second Speaker, CG
  8. Opposition Whip Second Speaker, CO


Debates are presided over by a Speaker, who is often the Chair of the adjudicator panel. The Speaker keeps time and calls debaters to the floor.

Each debater has 7 minutes to speak. The first and last minutes are protected time. This means that no POIs may be offered during this time. The Speaker will give a signal at the end and the beginning of protected time, at the seven-minute mark, and at the end of grace. The Speaker will probably not give time signals otherwise, so it is recommended that debaters bring a stopwatch to time themselves or their partner.

(With reference to

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World Universities Debating Championship

The World Universities Debating Championship ("WUDC") is the world's largest debating tournament, and one of the largest annual international student events in the world. It is a parliamentary debating event, held using a variant of the British Parliamentary Debate format. Each year, the event is hosted by a university selected by the World Universities Debating Council. The tournament is colloquially referred to as Worlds.
(World's debating website:

The 2016 Championship would be held in Greece over the New Year holiday.

(Greece Worlds 2016 website:

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The intervarsity tournament JUDC held at CityU.

NEAO 2012 (Seoul, Korea) - Debating with outstanding universities in Asia

The EDT ‘family photo’ in team hoodies