School of Law – Abu Dhabi and Palestine

Lord Soley

I am writing this from Abu Dhabi. I came here last Saturday and am returning tomorrow night. My purpose was to establish a post graduate school of law with outreach to Palestine in order to advance the rule of law in the region.

Zayed University is going to host it as a Masters degree and they will initially take some 20 or 25 students from Palestine. Later I hope this will enable a department to be set up in Palestinian university. I hope the project will attract wider interest in the Middle East as there is now an acute awareness in the region that regimes cannot continue as they have in the past.

I am personally delighted at the way Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Palestine have seized on this initiative. The enthusiasm of the staff at the university and the Palestinian Ambassador who accompanied me is deeply gratifying.

I will write more about this in due course but I think it is one of those important steps needed to enhance the rule of law and not least address some of the issues around human rights and international law which are not generally covered by law schools in the region.

An interesting aside here on Lord Lipsey’s post below – is this a proper task for a member of the Lords? I think it is. And before you ask, I do not get my allowance when I come here but I still have to pay my secretary so doing this is not cost free for me.

19 comments for “School of Law – Abu Dhabi and Palestine

  1. Twm
    14/06/2011 at 9:27 am

    I’ve added Zayed uni to facebook F request like.

  2. danfilson
    14/06/2011 at 3:06 pm

    Congratulations. The very concept of the rule of law – which sounds oppressive but isn’t – needs spreading. I hope students of all faiths will attend from Palestine – but that mingling, desirable as it is, is not the prime purpose.

  3. MilesJSD
    15/06/2011 at 8:44 am

    “Not cost free” (for you)

    but the essential overlapping or underlurking Issues-topics remain unanswered:

    (1) How many human-livings are you drawing from elsewhere (for your one self; regardless of work-costs);
    (2) What & Who are paying those work-costs and the personal-livings of those others involved ?


    • maude elwes
      15/06/2011 at 12:03 pm

      The ludicrous notion that the UK is committed to giving more Foreign Aid than any other country, including the US, shows how out of touch our leaders are and the ilk of their personalities.

      The defence of the realm, we are told, is less important to them than the idea of vaccinating the poor of the third world. This includes India where there are far more billionaires than we currently have. The Indian government spends its money on space exploration as well as nuclear weapons, which must, in part, be deducted from the aid received.

      Our electorate and the people of the UK are far less important to this government than those who they deem are needy elsewhere. Which, on a personal level, is fine. If they want to donate their own resources with abandon, that is their prerogative and I have no anger with their choice. However, the treasury is funded by the tax payer. It is not there for government to indulge their own personal folly. It is gifted to them by the people of this country on the grounds that it is used to take care of our nations welfare. Not the needs of other nations who have as much, if not more, wealth than us.

      Bill and Melissa Gates are kindly donating to various foreign charities through their foundation. That is their right to do so. They have to answer to no one else when they splash out because they are not elected to run a country and the money they spend belongs to no one else. However, they are certainly not elected to comment on how we spend ours. So why is our government in cahoots with people who are nothing to do with our resources or administration.

      Frankly, I think their money could be better spent on alternatives to vaccination but that is the Gates choice. I also think that they should think of vaccinating the American poor before they look elsewhere. Many American people are totally unable to afford such luxury. But, The Gates Foundation must have their reasons for selecting the way they have.

      Regardless, for the UK to treat its own citizens with such contempt and place them as second class to the rest of the poverty stricken world is a downright abuse of the power given to them. And will end up with us as poor as they are.

      We have millions of third world immigrants here who are in dire poverty as well. Surely the foreign aid would be better spent here. We have millions of elderly, sick, disabled and poor that need to be cared for. And they must come first in the list when ‘our’ collective money is up for grabs. To have the gall to take away our family allowance in order to pay for poverty in the rest of the world is delusional and shows a government that has no idea of the needs of its citizens.

  4. 15/06/2011 at 3:31 pm

    ‘“Not cost free” (for you)

    but the essential overlapping or underlurking Issues-topics remain unanswered:

    (1) How many human-livings are you drawing from elsewhere (for your one self; regardless of work-costs);
    (2) What & Who are paying those work-costs and the personal-livings of those others involved ?’

    Well Milesjsd it seems you like to argue for the sake of it, but this time I am inclined to agree to an extent.
    The cause is noble, without question, and that should weigh in our minds before we completely deny it. But in order to properly ensure the peoples support certain information can not be held back.
    -Have your other Lords Approved this? The best way to ensure the support of the people is to tget that of your own house.
    -Who is expensing this?
    -Who is leading this once you return?
    -What assurences have we that this is a good investment?
    I do so hate to play the cinic, but sometimes, to extract understanding I must.
    Timing, as I am sure everybody will understand, is everything. The middle east is in an uproar and currently unstable, what makes you believe you can maintain this rule of law?

  5. Lord Soley
    Lord Soley
    15/06/2011 at 4:35 pm

    Whatever you think of overseas aid it is not relevant here. All the costs are being met by Abu Dhabi.

    System55555 and Miles JSD. Just ask yourself what the world will be like if we don’t get the rule of law which is so important in stabilising countries – think of the people in those countries and remind yourself how lucky you are to live in a country which enjoys the rule of law.

    • maude elwes
      15/06/2011 at 5:00 pm

      @Lord Soley:

      I find it uncomfortable to know the costs will be met by Abu Dhabi? Doesn’t that indicate they feel it is in their interests to spend their money thus and on a member of our House of Lords? And if so, why would they feel that way? In other words, what is in it for them in so doing?

      And if you read the url above, you will see various states unknown to the general public, receive all kinds of Aid paid for by the British tax payer. and those tax payers have every right to know what is being done with their hard earned cash and why it is being used the way it is.

      And if all is open and above board then no need for anyone to feel defensive is there?

    • danfilson
      15/06/2011 at 6:36 pm

      Well said

      • danfilson
        16/06/2011 at 9:00 pm

        For the avoidance of doubt, as they day, my “Well said” related to the post by Lord Soley on 15 6 2011 at 15:35.

    • MilesJSD
      15/06/2011 at 8:48 pm

      Lord Soley, I would rather you ask yourselves what improvements could have long ago been made, and still could be made today by Britain alone, to put the Matter of the egalitarian-thrival of the worlds’ peoples, together with the sustainworthy conservation of this Earth’s Lifesupports, on a basis of win-win-win peacefully-cooperative-resolution,
      instead of on the basis of “luck” that your level of Governance seems to think to be the crucial touchstone.

      (There is more;
      such as long strings of fallacies in a number of LOTB peers’ posts,
      which truly need an impartial small team of PhDs-Logic to highlight and ‘referee’;
      but I am not to be ‘lengthy’ nor ‘off-topic’, nor ‘repetitive’).

      111 words 2048W15 JSDM.

  6. Gareth Howell
    15/06/2011 at 7:13 pm

    notion that the UK is committed to giving more Foreign Aid than any other country, including the US, shows how out of touch our leaders are

    The reason DFID and the Foreign Office are separate departments is that foreign aid so often meant armaments, that it was decided a distinction HAD to be made, some years ago now.

    I did not read any further in to Maude’s post.

    You do not need to ask why UK govt provides
    arms to other countries, and there is certainly nothing you can do to prevent it!!!

  7. Syst55555
    15/06/2011 at 10:45 pm

    Sadly the land in which I live is more of a strictly contradicting law-as much as I may wish I do not hail from England.

  8. Gareth Howell
    16/06/2011 at 10:12 am

    All the costs are being met by Abu Dhabi.

    I had a long and delightful conversation last night with a lady citizen of the UAE studying at the Zayed university, after facebooking the university.

    She is studying education,aged 20, and we began to put the world to rights. There are things about women’s rights which are contradictory, and from which the Arab world
    will do well to learn, from the developed world’ mistakes.

    • Gar
      16/06/2011 at 6:23 pm

      It sounds as though the university does not allow the women to live in an exclusive residence,saying that she has to do a one hour journey in each direction every day to get to her campus. She lives “en famille” which the uni authority insists on.

      Her parents live in the UAE.

    • maude elwes
      18/06/2011 at 4:16 pm


      Yes, it is interesting to know you had a conversation with a young woman on how to right the world, and for the advancement of women that should be understood by Western governments.

      However, more interesting would be to expand on the views Western society should be careful to take on board. How were you and this young lady intending to right the policy for women in the future and what should be addressed????

      This would hold me spellbound as I, in particular, am not at all comfortable with what we have in the offing at present.

  9. Lord Soley
    Lord Soley
    18/06/2011 at 5:17 pm
    • maude elwes
      18/06/2011 at 6:09 pm

      @Lord Soley:

      What a horrendous dilemma these ladies are tormented with. I thank you for the url.

  10. danfilson
    19/06/2011 at 4:02 pm

    An interesting point on who should pay. If s peer thinks a visit to Fredonia would be informative and the FCO has no interest in paying, there are really only four possible alternatives:
    (a) Paying your own way out of the allowances (I presume you cannot just bill it to IPSA)
    (b) Accept the sponsorship of a charity, whether here or in Fredonia, but alive to them possibly having an axe to grind, albeit altruistically
    (c) Accept the sponsorship of an individual or other body, whether here or in Fredonia, even more alive to them possibly having an axe to grind, albeit altruistically or possibly not
    (d) Accept the sponsorship of an overseas government, alive to the fact that they will have an axe to grind.

    Clearly the peer should declare openly anything under (b) to (d).

    There is something to be said for (d) – both parties know the name of the game, and benefit from the mutuality. It is harder to convey to the public the nuances of sponsorship by individuals and organisations, even charities, and their sponsorship can come back to haunt you decades on.

  11. Twm O'r Nant
    25/06/2011 at 12:09 pm

    Clive soley is interested and concerned with philosophy politics and law in the Arab world, and describes the revolutionary movements as movements for freedom and democracy.

    In fact it is more likely that the Caliphates are the cause of the unrest, and that Col. Qaddaffi’s contention that Al Qaeda is at the root of the problem may not be so very wide of the mark, that the desire to restore the
    Caliphates, Late Bin Laden’s principal aim, is one that has indeed spread to the former
    Ottoman Arab world,(as if it were ever gone from there) and that we should be looking more at Turkey and Istanbul leaders as prime movers in renewed caliphates in the middle East from Bulgaria to Tunisia and Morrocco.

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