Preparations are underway for the formal launch of the University of Bolton Debating Society later this month.

The two teams have been fine tuning their arguments under the guise of law firms Shoosmiths and Keoghs.

On Thursday 27 April they will go head to head debating both sides of the landmark argument Entick v Carrington which established the civil liberties of individuals and limited the scope of executive power.

Kath Livingston, Partner and Head of Commerical Litigation at the Manchester Office of Shoosmiths, has been assisting the three students who are arguing that the State’s rights should prevail over those of individuals.

‘I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to support the students and the University,’ said Kath.

‘The students will be learning about public speaking, formulating and presenting articulate cogent arguments but also, crucially, being able to react to the other side’s argument.

‘It’s very easy to concentrate on your own case and your own argument, forgetting that you also have to counter what would be equally compelling arguments from the other side.’

Professor Stephen Hardy will chair the debate – with the audience voting on who made the most convincing argument on the day – at the end.

‘The role of the law firm is to help coach the students and support them in their arguments

‘It gives students an opportunity to see what goes on at the University and be involved with the students.

‘The more that we involve students and law firms together the greater that is to enhance our employability and also our profile.

‘The students have been very enthusiastic and for law students debating isn’t their first priority.But they’ve enjoyed it because it gives them a chance to use their advocacy skills in a different way rather than in a very restrictive law way.’

In 1762 the Earl of Halifax, one of His Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, despatched Nathan Carrington and three other of the King’s messengers to John Entick’s house in Stepney. They broke into his house, seizing his papers and causing significant damage. Why? Because he was said to have written seditious papers published in the “Monitor”.

Entick sued Carrington and the other messengers for trespass. The defendants argued that the Earl of Halifax had given them legal authority to act as they had.

Lord Camden ruled firmly in Entick’s favour, holding that the warrant of a Secretary of State could not render lawful actions such as these which were otherwise unlawful.

The case is a significant statement of the common law’s commitment to the constitutional principle of the Rule of Law.

Rene McCarthy, a first year Law student, will be arguing against the motion “This House believes that Entick v Carrington is wrong! The State’s rights should prevail over those of individuals.”

‘I signed up for the event to emphasise my legal skills and learn new skills outside of my lectures,’ said Rene.

‘During the preparation I’ve learnt how to combine ideas within a large team and create legal arguments around a particular case.

‘It has also helped improve my ability to think on my feet and understand different scenarios.’

Her side will be coached by Barrister Jo Carpanini from Keogh’s.

Attendance at the event, which begins at 4pm in the Law Court on Thursday 27 April, is free.

To attend please sign up at

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