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Central And Eastern Europe

Volume 205: debated on Monday 9 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in what way his Department has supported the activities of the legal profession in England and Wales in giving legal technical assistance for central and eastern Europe with particular reference to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Armenia; and if he will make a statement as to the extent to which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assistance unit has been involved in supporting these activities.

We consider the evolving legal professions in eastern and central European countries and those of the former Soviet Union to be an integral part in the process of democratisation. The know-how fund has, to help in this process, worked closely with the various bilateral legal associations, the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Law Society and the Bar Council. The Scottish legal profession is also involved in projects, particularly in the Baltic republics.The following activities have been supported:


Security Law and Banking Supervision Law—The provision of British legal advisers to the Government of Poland to complete work on drafting a Security Law and to discuss a draft law on Banking Supervision.
Lawyer Placement Scheme—To enable ten lawyers from Lodz to come to the United Kingdom to learn about the structure and operation of the legal profession.
Reform of Land Valuation and Property Registration—Advice from British experts on how to secure title to land, and advice on valuation procedures for foreign and Polish investments consistent with Polish political constraints.
Management of a Law Practice—A seminar held in Poland, on the management of a lawyer's office.


Assistance to the Czech Bar Association—To advise on the establishment of a specialist legal publishing house.
Commercial Law Seminar—Two day seminar in Prague to familiarize Czechoslovak lawyers with United Kingdom commercial law, organised by the British-Czechoslovak Law Association.
Placement Scheme for Officials from the Czech and Slovak Ministries of Justice—A one-month long placement scheme on commercial law organised by Queen Mary and Westfield College.


Bar Council/Law Society Visit—Joint mission by the Bar Council and Law Society to identify possible areas of assistance.
Environmental Law—Commentary on the Draft Bulgarian Environmental Protection Law.
Legal Workshop—A legal workshop by the British-Bulgarian Legal Association in Bankya.


Placement Scheme for Hungarian Lawyers—Placement scheme to give young Hungarian lawyers direct experience of United Kingdom commercial law practices.
Anglo-Hungarian Legal Seminar—Seminar on the practical negotiations of a joint venture including dealing with financing documents and intellectual property matters.
Anglo/Hungarian Legal Seminar—Seminar on Criminal Justice and the administration of the probation service.