Here's my question of the day...
Sorry but I wouldn't have enough time for research.
edit... I should probably read the question
Every time someone suggests a new forum, Greg & co. have said that they would consider it if the need or enough interest had already been demonstrated. So just try having one formal debate, and see how it goes. If people are interested, they will start more debates and a need for a new forum may develop.
The idea was to host a few debates. I don't believe there would be enough time to have a separate forum devoted to it.
Have you seen the main page lately? I think there are quite enough forums in place as is. I like honestrosewater's idea. You can just set one up where ever is appropriate and make plans with the moderator of the particular forum. Maybe even post about it here to "advertise".
What function does the moderator perform? To what rules are the debators bound?
The moderator mostly moderates.
http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=85871 rules and procedures from a forum that has formal debates.
http://cas.bethel.edu/dept/comm/npda/npdarules.html [Broken] NPDA Rules of Debating
But how moderately?
I wouldn't find "very moderate" moderation to be moderate enough moderation in a moderator. I'm going to have to vote "no".
Separate names with a comma.