Washington hosts Saudi Arabian & Middle East Legal Forum

The forum was organized by the Georgetown Arab Lawyers Organization (GALO) and the Saudi Law Training Center (SLTC), under the supervision of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC).
Updated 03 April 2018

Washington hosts Saudi Arabian & Middle East Legal Forum

WASHINGTON: The Saudi Arabian & Middle East Legal Forum took place in the US capital on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It was organized by the Georgetown Arab Lawyers Organization (GALO) and the Saudi Law Training Center (SLTC), under the supervision of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC).
Attendees and participants included more than 350 prominent Saudi and American figures from various fields, including education, law, economics, business and media.
The forum discussed ways to attract international investment and develop the Saudi economy in the fields of energy, transport, financial services, trade, sports and entertainment.
The event also discussed doing business within the Saudi legal system, and the impact of legal reform and transparency on privatization projects and partnerships between the public and private sectors in the fields of trade, health care and entertainment.
The forum discussed Saudi and Middle Eastern arbitration and judicial systems, and outlined new challenges and opportunities in the fields of health care, energy and transport.
The conference was opened by GALO President Ahmed Medhat Karoub, who praised the Kingdom’s opening of its economy and society, and the international community’s embrace of this.
He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform plan is derived from his appreciation of, and support for, innovation and science.
The Kingdom has made great strides in many areas, reflecting decision-makers’ efforts to establish a legal system and working environment that will help create a prosperous and sustainable economy, Karoub added.
Andrew Patterson, a board member of the International Environmental Business Organization, said during a panel discussion that the Kingdom is investing in its youth via Vision 2030.
Andrea Sherman, professor of law at Georgetown University, said: “I am very pleased to participate in the conference, which brought back wonderful memories of my time in Saudi Arabia as legal adviser to a number of elite companies.”
He praised the organization of the conference, and the ambition of young Saudi men and women to improve their society and country.
Stephen Hammond, a lawyer and partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, said the forum exceeded all expectations in addressing all issues relating to the Kingdom’s future and Vision 2030.
Such events are important in correctly presenting Saudi society, especially from a legal perspective, he added.
Saudi Justice Ministry Judge Sheikh Saleh Al-Saawi said laws and regulations enacted by the Kingdom’s leadership guarantee the judiciary’s independence and social justice for all its citizens.
Dr. Nouf Al-Ghamdi, a legal adviser and member of several accredited legal committees, praised the aims of Vision 2030 to strengthen the fields of entertainment, sports and tourism, and to encourage women’s participation in the workforce and in decision-making.
Attorney Majed Karoub, head of the SLTC, expressed pride in the conference’s success.
The Kingdom’s future lies in its youths’ determination to enable it to compete with developed countries in all sectors, he said.
SAPRAC’s vice president of media, Reem Daffa, said the forum successfully merged Saudi and American cultures.
It was a unique opportunity to link Saudi law students with a network of experts in various legal disciplines that are necessary in the Kingdom in light of Vision 2030, she added.

Clashes mar start of Bangladesh election campaign

Updated 19 min 26 sec ago

Clashes mar start of Bangladesh election campaign

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday launched her bid to stay in office
  • The national election body wants a violence-free campaign and polling day

DHAKA: Two people have been killed in clashes as official election campaigning got underway in Bangladesh.

The country goes to the polls on Dec. 30, pitting the ruling Awami League against the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Violence left two party workers dead and injured dozens more, media reported, days into the campaign.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday launched her bid to stay in office, addressing a rally in Gopalganj district.

She told the crowd that people were not deprived if they voted for her party, they had a better life.

She said she wanted a prosperous country, free of hunger and poverty, and urged people to vote for the ruling party to maintain ongoing development projects.

Hasina is seeking a third consecutive term in office. Seeking to oust her from power is the BNP-led opposition alliance, called the Jatiya Oikya Front.

Dr. Kamal Hossain offered prayers at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal in the eastern city of Sylhet on Wednesday evening. Then he, along with other opposition leaders, headed toward Jaintapur district to address a mass rally.

The national election body wants a violence-free campaign and polling day, but the BNP says the playing field is not level.

The party contacted the chief election commissioner to say its leaders, supporters and activists were being harassed, attacked and arrested.

“We think the chief commissioner is helpless and embarrassed as he is unable to take any action against the crimes committed targeting BNP leaders and supporters,” the BNP’s Selima Rahman told reporters. “We hope that he (election commissioner)takes action — only then will the election be acceptable to all.”

The head of the election body, Nurul Huda, said: “The EC is deeply saddened and embarrassed for such undesired incidents… The worth of a person’s life is much greater than the entire election exercise.”

The Bangladesh Election Commission needs to play a more active role in curbing violence so that voters were not deterred, according to the body’s former chief Shakhawat Hossain.

“To keep a check on violence, the EC has clear guidelines in its code of conducts while the Representation of Public Order (RPO) has also clearly stated the duties during this period,” Hossain told Arab News.

“The EC has already formed 140 inquiry committees and deployed 250 executive magistrates to monitor the elections. In addition, it has its own officers and administrative heads ensuring smooth running of the election process,” he added.

Everything now depended on the EC, its deployment of resources and how it operated, he added.