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UGA SCHOOL OF LAW AND PALESTINIAN LEGAL SCHOLARS AND EDUCATORS TO CONDUCT COMMERCIAL LAW WORKSHOP AUGUST 6-10

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Thursday, August 2, 2001

WRITER: Kim Cretors, (706) 542-6927, kcretors@uga.edu CONTACT: María Eugenia Giménez, (706) 542-5138, mgimenez@uga.edu Laura German, (706) 542-5211, lauragerman@zipmail.com

UGA SCHOOL OF LAW AND PALESTINIAN LEGAL SCHOLARS AND EDUCATORS TO CONDUCT COMMERCIAL LAW WORKSHOP AUGUST 6-10

ATHENS, Ga. - A two-year collaboration between law faculty at the University of Georgia and Palestinian law scholars will address many facets of the Palestinian legal system. The program begins with a five-day workshop next week on the UGA campus.

Through the project "Developing the Palestinian Legal System: Institutional Partnering to Strengthen Human Capacity, Democratic Process and Economic Development," the Dean Rusk Center-International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies at the University of Georgia School of Law will host four training workshops conducted by UGA faculty in conjunction with Palestinian law scholars in the following areas: commercial law, water law, intellectual property law and the law on alternative dispute resolution.

The program is supported by a two-year grant from the Association Liaison Office/U.S.A.I.D. to collaborate with Palestinian law faculty under the U.S.-Palestinian Linkages in Higher Education (UPLINK) program. The commercial law session, the first workshop, runs August 6 through 10.

Gabriel Wilner, Charles H. Kirbo Professor of International Law and executive director of the Rusk Center, says the workshops are an exciting opportunity for both the Palestinian and the UGA scholars who are participating. "The Center was pleased to have been given the task of cooperating with Birzeit University and other leading Palestinian universities to review the existing law in certain fields and discuss possible approaches that would lead to adaptation and modernization."

Wilner says where necessary "the Palestinian legal system must be refashioned and then positioned to provide support for the economic and political development of the Palestinian territory. We welcome the opportunity of working with our academic colleagues at the Palestinian universities in the several fields of law. In particular, I look forward to being involved in the project on dispute settlement in the Palestinian legal system."

Nine Palestinian faculty, representing Al-Azhar University (Gaza City), An-Najah National University (Nablus, West Bank), Birzeit University (Birzeit, West Bank) and Al-Quds University (Abu Dis, Jerusalem), plan to participate in the commercial law workshop.

The five-day program will be led by UGA law faculty Julian B. McDonnell and James C. Smith. "My colleagues and I are looking forward to a productive exchange of ideas with our Palestinian guests," says McDonnell, the John A. Sibley Professor of Law, who specializes in contracts, commercial paper and secured transactions.

James C. Smith says the first workshop will focus on commercial law, "a necessary ingredient for a thriving market economy. Our primary expertise is in U.S. commercial law. A major part of the interchange with our Palestinian colleagues will be to discuss U.S. approaches that may be incorporated, sometimes with modifications, into the Palestinian commercial law system." Smith, whose other areas of expertise include property and real estate transactions, is the John Byrd Martin Professor of Law.

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