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Gulf Times - Six key steps to restore strength of rule of law
By Peter Townson
The keynote address at the Qatar Law Forum opening session yesterday morning was an interesting account of how globalisation is affecting modern society and national judiciaries, including a list of six propositions of how to uphold “the rule of law in a global context.”
Senior law lord and president-elect of the Supreme Court of the UK, the right honourable Lord Phillips of West Matravers, claimed that it would “not be possible to be given a topic of greater importance” to discuss as he opened his address.
He proceeded to outline the vast array of technological advances that have been made in recent years, and as well as the positive consequences of these developments, he also emphasised their less desirable outcomes.
Referring to climate change and global warming, terrorism and other political tensions which have come about as a result of religious and ideological differences, Lord Phillips claimed that it is “almost impossible to imagine the extent to which these tensions are likely to increase in the lifetime of our children and grandchildren.”
However, he argued that there are things that can be done to help alleviate these problems, which he claimed will only be resolved in two ways – “one is war and the other is law.”
“Without a universal commitment to the ultimate authority of law; law founded on principle and administered through independent, stable and respected judicial systems, the world as we know it is not going to survive.”
He then put forward six points which he argued are necessary to restore the strength of the rule of law: first he argued there must be national respect for the rule of law; there must be a worldwide commitment to the rule of law; everyone must share in the responsibility for maintaining the rule of law; the rule of law requires constant vigilance; fifth, he argued that justice must be open to all, and lastly he argued that “dialogue, understanding and mutual respect are the keys to a rule of law strong enough to withstand the stresses that lie ahead.”
Lord Phillips said he hoped that the dialogue which has been exemplified by the Qatar Law Forum would continue after the conference, and stated that there is a need for regular meetings between judges from the Middle East and the rest of the world

under the patronage of H.H. the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani , H.E. Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al-Thani inaugurated the Forum works

PM to open Qatar Law Forum today 30- 5-2009


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