Courtroom Format To Debate Climate Change

A courtroom format in Orkney next week will tackle the question of climate change.

For many years the debate has raged in newspaper columns and internet blogs – Is the climate really changing? And are we the cause?

Now as part of the Orkney International Science Festival the courtroom method is bring applied. The aim is to get at the truth by bringing the two sides together, gathering the evidence from each, and subjecting it to examination and cross-examination.

The Festival say that despite all the arguments about climate change, they have not heard of this courtroom-style approach being tried before, and on Monday evening (10 September) a team of Orkney lawyers and debaters will get into action.

Solicitors Alistair Bruce of Lows of Orkney and Katharine McKerrall of OIC will marshal their witnesses in a courtroom procedure of strict rules. Each side will call two main witnesses, and then the other side will cross-examine. The audience will have an opportunity to feed in questions and to act as the jury in making a final decision at the end of the evening.

Committee members of Stromness Debating Society will assist the legal teams and the courtroom officials.


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6 responses to “Courtroom Format To Debate Climate Change

  1. It’s possible this “trial” will be similar to some of the environmentalists’ actions against the EPA, which the EPA actively wishes to lose. If either side’s “advocates” really prefer to lose, this format will be amusing but not informative.

  2. The media is the message.

  3. A real court room worked very well for the theory of evolution–maybe they are hoping for the same result. Then there are the personal injury lawyers and billions in costs to drug companies. It’s worked in the real world. And why decide science in some boring laboratory when you can stage a mock trial? People understand law–they watch “Law and Order” every week and they know juries are so smart they never make mistakes. Science is dead….
    (I actually have been expecting a real courtroom battle. Juries are so much easier to convince of things than researchers.)

    • “A real court room worked very well for the theory of evolution”

      Snopes was found guilty. How did that work out for you, Mr. Snopes? Not too good.

      At least he got his own urban legend website.

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