Department of Communication Studies

Types of Debate

Parliamentary Debate


A debate round has two teams with two debaters each including a judge. One team represents the Government, while the other represents the Opposition. The Government team is composed of a Prime Minister, who speaks twice, and a Member of Government, who speaks once. The Opposition team is composed of a Leader of the Opposition, who speaks twice, and a Member of the Opposition, who speaks once. The Government proposes a specific case statement, which the government team must demonstrate to be correct. The Opposition does not have to propose anything, but must demonstrate that the case statement is not correct. The Speaker decides at the end of the round, based on the arguments made in the round, whether the Government has proved its case or whether the Opposition has disproved it. The team which met its burden more convincingly wins.

Order and Timing of Speeches:

Prime Minister (Constructive)- 7 minutes

Leader of Opposition- (Constructive)- 8 minutes

Member of Government (Constructive)- 8 minutes

Member of Opposition (Contructive)- 8 minutes

Leader of Opposition (Rebuttal)- 4 minutes

Prime Minister (Rebuttal)- 5 minutes