The night of the third of May 2023 saw some of the finest adepts in rhetoric, retort and reasoning gather in the CLR for the Senior House Debating Final.
Laundimer and Dryden had each made it through several previous rounds, overcoming opposition from across the school, debating various motions from the right to strike to the value of victory. The Final’s motion, however, was one more grounded in current matters: “This House believes Britain should repatriate Shamima Begum”.
Dryden, came well prepared as the proposition, highlighting the dangers of statelessness to not only the individual but also to society as a whole, claiming that repatriation was the best way for the country to deal with any potential threat. Their argument hinged around identifying direct British moral responsibility, as well as a mechanism for effective detention and rehabilitation of Begum.
In response, Laundimer deployed a well thought-out response, outlining how responsibility fell on her individually and detailing the dangers of repatriation, particularly in setting a precedent for future treatment of terrorism. Their opposition rested on denial of British responsibility and the protection of the public, especially peaceful practitioners of the Islamic faith. Key points of clash arose around whether Britain had failed Shamima in allowing her to become radicalised, as well as the role of the Bangladeshi state, to which she had rights to citizenship initially.
After much deliberation, the three judges, Mrs Wells, Doctor Mackenzie and Judge Ken Sheraton, granted the victory to Laundimer, mainly for superior structuring and good focus on stakeholders.
The House thus adjourned for the year with commiseration chocolates in the hands of Dryden, and the Humphrey’s Gavel in those of Laundimer, after a superb debate from both sides of the House.