“Legal” Interruptions


Part of the Parliamentary tradition, but it should be short, witty and rare

Point of Order

For a rule violation

(1) not addressing the Speaker

(2) inappropriate behaviour/decorum

(3) rude behaviour lowering the level of debate.

Point of Personal Privilege

(1) Being personally insulted or slandered

(2) Being deliberately misquoted

Point of Information

A debater may stand with arm out to ask a question while another debater has the floor, but the debater speaking does not need to take the question. The debater speaking may: wave the POI down; finish his/her thought before answering; or take the question.

  • POIs should be a short question (10-15 sec). This is Question and Answer, not Argument and Question.
  • Two to four POIs are not out of order. However excessive POIs may be considered disruption and a lowering of the standard of debate.

Interruptions are valid in and of themselves, but they are also often used as strategy- to interrupt another debater’s flow. That is to be expected, but use your judgment as to when it is overdone.

What should a judge do about violations?

Deduct one point for each occurrence of a violation.

The Atlantic Debate Conference has been postponed and will be rescheduled for Spring of 2019.