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Law Week: public debate on Facebook age ban

Should the age limit for using Facebook be raised from 13 to 15? That's the topic of a debate at the University of Adelaide as part of Law Week 2011.
Photo by Jakub Krechowicz.

Should the age limit for using Facebook be raised from 13 to 15? That's the topic of a debate at the University of Adelaide as part of Law Week 2011.
Photo by Jakub Krechowicz.

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Friday, 13 May 2011

The University of Adelaide's Law School will host a public debate on whether children aged under 15 years should be banned from Facebook.

Organised by the Adelaide University Debating Society as part of this year's Law Week, the public debate will involve two teams comprised of current Law students and recent graduates from the University of Adelaide.

They will provide arguments for and against raising the age ban on Facebook users from 13 to 15 years.

Facebook is the world's most popular social networking site with more than 500 million active users. The site warns children under the age of 13 not to attempt to register with Facebook - such information is deleted if the user is found to be under the age limit. Should that age limit be increased to 15, and for what reasons?

"Cyber-bullying, internet safety and identity are all keys issues of social media, and this should make the debate of interest to students, parents and teachers alike," says organiser James Gould, who is a member of the Adelaide University Debating Society and works for Thomsons Lawyers.

"Some of our most high-quality debaters, many of whom just competed in the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships (Easters) held at the University of Adelaide, will be participating in this event.

"The event provides us with an opportunity to showcase the Adelaide University Debating Society and provide the audience with an entertaining but informative debate in a very topical issue. Given that law and debating go hand-in-hand, we feel there couldn't be a more appropriate time to have a debate open to students and the public," he says.

WHAT: Law Week Youth Debate: Should under 15 year olds be banned from Facebook?
WHERE: Moot Court, Level 1, Ligertwood Building (Law School), North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 5.30pm - 6.30pm Monday 23 May
COST: FREE - but registration is essential at: www.law.adelaide.edu.au/lawweek

Meanwhile, high school students also have the chance to take part in a poster competition that may shape the look of Law Week for next year. The Law Week 2011 Secondary School Poster Competition asks students to design and create a poster that captures the essence of this year's Law Week: 'Law and Justice in your Community'.

The competition is open to all secondary school students in South Australia. The winning entrant will receive an Apple iPad2, with the winner to be announced at the University of Adelaide's Open Day on Sunday 21 August.

"This competition and the debate are just two ways in which we can raise the level of public awareness of the law and its role in our society," says the Dean of Law at the University of Adelaide, Professor John Williams.

"By getting young people thinking about how the law impacts on their lives, we hope to inspire them to consider the range of career options available in law and how this can make a difference to our community."

Law Week officially starts nationally this Monday (16 May) and has already begun in South Australia. For more information about all Law Week events, go to: www.lawweek.com.au

For more information about University of Adelaide events as part of Law Week, go to: www.law.adelaide.edu.au/lawweek

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