Today was the second day of the preliminary rounds of the European Universities Debating Championships 2007. The first motion for the day was "This house will require a prescription for the morning-after pill". We were in second opposition. We tried to analyze why the proposition will overall make safe sex less safe, while not reducing the occurrence of unsafe sex, but I failed to provide the arguments coherently enough and Mark failed to give a coherent summation. We got third place for that debate.
In the last two rounds of the tournament we were not told what our positions were. We knew we had 8 points, and 12 should be enough to break to the next round, so we needed two second places (or one first and one third).
The motion for the next round was "This house will introduce a time limit on prosecutions for genocide". We were in second proposition. The first proposition gave an absurd definition with a time limit of only 5 years, without clearly defining when this time begins and when it ends. I tried to pull them into a coherent definition, but we got none from them. We decided on a time frame that was good for us and tried to prove that it is possible to conduct trials that fast, while showing that even if these trials fail, the situation is still positive. However, it turned out that the judges didn't like the fact that we defined the time frame differently from what might have been implied by first prop, so they gave us fourth place, even below the horrible first prop team.
In the last round we were second prop again on the motion "This house will prosecute parents who take their children to another legal jurisdiction in order to carry out an act which is illegal in their country", yes that long. First prop defined the motion well as applying to forced marriage and FGM. Their main problem was that they failed to cover the important jurisdictional aspects of the motion, while first opposition simply asserted a "territory principle" without proving why it exists and that it applies. We decided to take that clash and analyze the origins of jurisdiction and international law and prove that in this case the crime is committed in the context of the social contract of the original jurisdiction and thus should be tried and prosecuted there. We do not know how much points we got in that round, but we heard a rumor that we have not won this round. I assume we got second place, but I cannot be sure.
In the evening we had a boat tour in the Bosporus strait where the breaking teams were announced. It turned out that 11 points with high speaker points were sufficient for an ESL break, however we got at most 10. I was very disappointed as I thought we deserved at least second place in the last two rounds.
Tomorrow there will be the quarter finals and semi finals, where several Israeli teams will participate. More news will be posted then.