It is a humbling experience to watch the incredible bravery of the Libyan people and the cool headed approach of so many Arabs in the current upheavals throughout the region. None of us can be sure how this will end but I am personally very encouraged and more inclined to optimism than pessimism. For years the rest of the world has struggled to know how best to deal with these governments which are at best semi despotic and at worst extreme dictatorships.
A few months ago and following discussions with the Ambassador of the Emirates and the Representative of the Palestinians in the UK I suggested that we set up an advanced school of law based at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi with outreach into Palestine. I have two aims. Firstly, to advance the rule of law via university teaching departments; secondly, to help Palestine create the structures necessary for a modern state. I am pleased to say that it is on course for completion in the near future.
I was in contact with two other countries to suggest something similar and there was real interest. Events however have overtaken me and those two countries are in the throes of revolution. There are very real opportunities here for the advancement of the rule of law which is an essential part of any open and free society. What we are watching on our TV screens is historic and we should be ready to help in every way we can.