The National Law School Debate (NLS Debate) is an annual debating tournament conducted by the Literary and Debating Society of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, for teams from Universities all over Asia. It is one of the largest inter-varsity Parliamentary Debating tournament in Asia with over 450 participants. The debates is held in the 3-on-3 format. The 9th Edition of the debate is slated to be held from 6th-10 November.
NLS-D began with an intent to popularize debating across the country has advanced in its quality, and has improved in terms of the reach of the tournament. NLS-D remains the only South Asian face of any International debate competition.The debate had very humble beginnings. The 1st edition which happened in the November of 2002, saw nine teams taking part. It followed the 2-on-2 debating format. St. Stephen's College was the winner, while National University of Juridical Sciences(NUJS) were the runners-up. The 4th edition of the Debate saw it being transmuted into a 3-on-3 parliamentary Debating format. The number of participating teams increased from 9 to 80, in a span of 9 years. The debate has seen the participation of many Indian Institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), R.V. College of Engineering, St. Stephen's College, Loyola College, Hansraj etc. and International teams like Faculty of Law-Colombo (FOLC), Lahore University of Management Studies (LUMS), The American University of Bangladesh etc.
The Debate has managed to stay on the fun-side of the spectrum with its legendary break night party with flowing alcohol, which is the social event of the debate calendar in addition to an opening night dinner and a closing Championship Party. The level of hospitality that the college has extended, which involves every team getting picked up and getting dropped from the airport/Railway Station, Accommodation and Food for the entire duration of the tournament. A separate novice break for people who haven't debated before, encourages greater participation.
The debate follows a 3-on-3 format, with one team (of 3 speakers each) forming the Government, and the other the Opposition. The process of scoring and tabbing them is called tabbing. The scoring of the teams is done by judges who are students from the participating colleges, who return the scores to the adjudication team, led by the Chief Adjudicator (CA), and is assisted by the Deputy Chief Adjudicator (DCA), and the Deputy Chief Adjudicator(Observer).