LONDON: Senior Malaysian legal officers will be sent to Britain’s premier centre for research in the field of international law to gain greater exposure, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said.
Their stint at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at Cambridge University would also cover world trade issues, he said after presenting a cheque for £400,000 (RM2.4mil) to the centre on Thursday.
Two of the centre’s leading figures, Prof Sir Elihu Lauterpacht and Prof James Crawford, were part of the legal team that successfully argued the case for Malaysia in its dispute with Indonesia over the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan.
For their work with Malaysia that stretched more than 10 years, both men were conferred the Panglima Jasa Negara, which carries the title of Datuk, this year.
Syed Hamid said Prof Lauterpacht and Prof Crawford were now helping Malaysia prepare the case over the disputed sovereignty of Pulau Batu Besar, and provide legal opinion on Singapore’s reclamation of the Tebrau Straits.
He said the first memo on Pulau Batu Besar was to be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which is expected to hear the case in about three years.
The centre, set up in 1983, is well known for its work in developing projects on major issues of international law, including humanitarian issues, the law of the environment and inter-state relationships.
Besides Wisma Putra, Syed Hamid said legal officers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, would also benefit from the tie-up with the centre.
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