Here's a breakdown of how we operate.
At the beginning of the semester 15 cases are released from the national organization. A case could range anywhere from determining what constitutes as child pornography, the government's opinion on spanking, anthropologists learning about cultures for military use, whaling in "international waters", and social networking terms and agreements.
Each case will be divvied up between the members of the team and the members will research the cases to learn everything about the case ever written. Every week the team will meet up and discuss their findings and what they think about the case. Each member will have to pinpoint the main ethical dilemma in each case, and create an argument for their position on that dilemma. Arguments need to be thorough.
The competition: a match will include two schools and two cases, the cases are drawn randomly and a coin toss determines who presents first.
A question on the first case is posed that neither team knew before the match started.
The presenting team will have two minutes to prepare something to say. Only one person can talk in this speech, so it's important that the teammate who researched this case can coherently argue for the whole seven minutes.
One minute for the opposing team to come up with a counter argument, any number of them can talk during this five minute rebuttal.
Another minute of pause, five minutes again for the presenting team to redefine and strengthen their argument, any number of students can talk this time, and it is good to point out the flaws of the opposing team's rebuttal.
It's not over yet, there are three judges who will each ask the presenting team their own questions about the case or arguments.
Don't rest yet, the opposing team will soon present the second case of the match.