Reported by Varun Reddy

The National Law School of India University won the sixth NALSAR Inter-Varsity Parliamentary Debate held at the NALSAR University of Law. The tournament spanned three days, running from the 4th to the 6th of September. It witnessed the participation of 68 teams, with two members each, and 77 adjudicators from across the country.

The Core Adjudicators for the event were Saad Ashraf (Champion, Dhaka University IV, Finalist NSU IV), Natasha Rachman (Finalist at the World Universities Debating Championship 2015, Chief Adjudicator at Oxford IV), Viraj Parikh (Winner NALSAR IV, Mukherjee Memorial Debate) and Amritha Varshini (Winner SMCPD, semi-finalist VITDT) – all reputed names in the debating circuit.

The format involved four teams of two members each – the Opening Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government and Closing Opposition. Teams were given topics (“motions”) on the spot and had fifteen minutes to prepare before each person delivered speeches of seven minutes, open to points of information from the opposite bench. 

The final round of the competition featured two teams from NLSIU, Bangalore, and a team each from VIT and NUJS, Kolkata, debating the motion “This House would take into account ‘I was under orders’ as a legitimate mitigating factor in war crimes’ trials”, with the team from NLSIU comprising Isha Jain and Vanshaj Jain winning the NALSAR IV. Finals Panelist Pranshul Joshi characterized the underlying issue of the debate as a question of whether a common soldier can be understood as exercising personal agency or thought to the orders of his superiors during situations of war.

The Encore Award for Best Adjudicator went to Gaurav Saraf from MSRIT, Bangalore, while the Meera Sinha Award for Best Speaker went to Saharsh Sood from VIT. The Associated Law Advisers Award for Best Novice Team went to BITS Hyderabad.

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