State building

A group of Palestinian law deans has completed a tour of Australian universities under a UNSW-led program aimed at strengthening the legal system in the emerging Palestinian state.

A group of Palestinian law deans has completed a tour of Australian universities under a UNSW-led program aimed at strengthening the legal system in the emerging Palestinian state.

Five Deans from the West Bank toured the law schools during the visit sponsored by the Council for Australian-Arab Relations.

The tour is the result of the hard work of UNSW Law School's Founding Dean Hal Wootten, who came up with the idea after visiting the Palestinian territories three years ago.

Professor Wootten said Australia, as an example of a modern legal system operating in a secure democracy, has much to offer a future Palestinian state.

"The development and ongoing success of a modern legal system depends on the availability of lawyers with appropriate skills and professional standards. There is only one source of these lawyers - the law schools," Professor Wootten said.

"The present project is part of an ongoing program by the UNSW Law School to share the experience of a more fortunate country."

UNSW's Dean of Law, Professor David Dixon, said a positive adjunct to the visit is the Federal Government's agreement to fund 50 post-graduate scholarships for Palestinians to study in Australia in the fields of law and public administration.

"This visit by the Deans will equip them to encourage and guide their own postgraduate students interested in applying for these scholarships. We hope to welcome several recipients of these scholarships to UNSW next year and assist legal development in Palestine," he said.

Taking part in the visit were: Dr Akram Daoud, from An-Najah National University, Nablus; Dr Ghassan Elayyan, Arab American University, Jenin; Dr Mohammed Shalaldeh, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem; Dr Nafe Hasan, Palestine Ahliya University, Bethlehem; and Dr Khalid Talahma, Birzeit University, Ramallah.

Read more about the project in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8107 |