Debating Society launches with discussion on whether individual's rights should prevail over that of the state

Posted on Wednesday 3rd May 2017

The University’s Debating Society debuted to rapturous applause on Thursday as students went head-to-head debating the famous Entick v Carrington case.

Six students, studying on the University’s Law course, presented their arguments in front of a packed Law Court.

The two teams spent weeks preparing for the event, with assistance and guidance from local law firms Shoosmiths and Keoghs.

They argued both for and against the landmark judgement which established the civil liberties of individuals and limited the scope of executive power.

Each side then took questions from the audience before the debate was opened up to the floor. After careful deliberation it was voted that individual’s rights should prevail over that of the state.

Group with certificates

‘I think the Debating Society has a strong future based on today’s launch,’ said Professor Stephen Hardy, who chaired the debate.

‘It generated a lot of topical debate and interest which will only go from strength to strength.’

Jo Carpanini, a Barrister for Keoghs, helped the winning team, which featured Pawel Golinski, Rene McCarthy and Prince Kuchler.

‘The students were very, very well prepared,’ said Jo.

‘I was very impressed with their content and research, and the confidence in terms of the submissions and arguments they were making.

‘The students ran through their arguments and I critiqued their presentation; not just the content of their argument but also the way in which they presented.

‘Advocacy is not just a case of what you say, it’s how you say it as well and being able to lead an audience that may not be familiar with what you are saying.

‘The Debating Society gives students real life experience and skills that will help them, not just in their careers going forward but in many different areas.’


Kath Livingston from Shoosmiths coached Rachel Venet, Mohammed Ahmed and Sarah Moore, who were arguing that Entick v Carrington was wrong and that the State’s right should prevail over those of individuals.

‘I heard some fantastic arguments on both sides,’ she said. ‘It shows that if you really put thought into something you can argue very persuasively many different ways.

‘I don’t think it matters who won or lost. Sometimes as lawyers we have to argue difficult positions that we don’t necessarily believe in, but it’s the ability to do it that counts. The students all did that fantastically today.’

The next Debating Society event will take place before the end of the academic year. Mohammed Ahmed, in his second year, encouraged people to sign up for the next event.

‘What I enjoyed about the Debating Society was that it was an informative process. We were trained by the two law firms and they gave us great transferable skills that we can use later on in our life, whether it’s in a law career or another environment.

‘I enjoyed that it was a healthy debate and would encourage anyone interested to visit the Bolton Students’ Union and sign up.’