Middle East group looks back on year of success

ASSISTANT under-secretary of state at the Foreign Office, Andrew Green, was guest speaker at the first anniversary event of the British Middle East Law Council (BMELC).

Green, a former Ambassador to Syria, congratulated John Young, president of the council, and Ibrahim Kanaan, secretary general, on the energy and drive they have shown in establishing the BMELC and their achievements in the last year.

“Promoting mutual exchanges, placements and training programmes are seeds that can often bear abundant fruit. I am glad to assure you that you have the firm support of the Foreign Office in your endeavours,” said Green.

Green confirmed that the Government had provided help in drafting basic law and in providing training for Palestinians in legal drafting.

“I am glad to learn that the BMELC also has plans in this field. The law in the occupied territories is a complete dog's breakfast. The court system needs to be developed and it needs the resources to cope with the expected case load,” he said.

According to Kanaan the main priority of the council was to assist in reforming legislation in the Middle East. “Our new projects will be a regional conference in the United Arab Emirates to be held in November 1995 in Abu Dhabi as well as seminars on the Palestinian legal system and its reconstruction,” he said.