Director of the Center for Law and Policy in Lahore Discusses Rule of Law Developments in Pakistan with Max Planck Experts

Both institutions strive for cooperation in knowledge transfer activities and scholarship programmes

On 3 February 2014, Syed Imad-ud-Din Asad, Founding Director of the Center for Law and Policy in Lahore, visited the Max Planck Foundation in Heidelberg in order to discuss with managing director Dr. Tilmann Röder and regional expert Mr. Siraj Khan recent rule of law developments in Pakistan.

The talks focused on possibilities to facilitate the implementation of the GSP (Generalised System of Preference) Plus agreement between Pakistan and the EU, which entered into force on 1 January 2014. Under this agreement, the European Union is granting the much-awaited duty free market access to Pakistan. In return, Islamabad has agreed to fully implement its commitments under 27 international conventions on human rights, good governance, labour and environmental standards.

Being a milestone in Pakistan-EU relations, this project demands in-depth structural changes of the trade system in Pakistan including capacity building for Pakistani lawyers, manufactures and exporters in European standards and trade regulations. With the Center for Law and Policy currently being the only educational institution teaching EU trade law in Pakistan, it is now a matter of urgency to build further educational capacities in that field. Not an easy task, according to Ass. Prof. Asad, who reports that the number of international experts being willing to work and teach in Pakistan has significantly declined over the past years.

The Max Planck Foundation and the Center for Law and Policy will search for possibilities of cooperation in this area and in regard of Pakistan’s obligation to implement international human rights, governance, labour and environmental standards.

A further possible field of cooperation of the two scientific institutions could be their scholarship programmes for students who are striving for doctoral degrees at universities with international reputation.