England and Wales
'The Rule of Law as the Foundation of Good Inter-Faith Relations'
On 10th February the Centre inaugurated a new series of lectures under the auspices of the Sultan Azlan Shah Fellowship. The distinguished inaugural lecturer was the Rt Hon Lord Woolf, former Chief Justice of England and Wales, who addressed the topical issue of The Rule of Law as a the Foundation for Good Inter-Faith Relations. He was introduced by the Centre’s Director, Dr Farhan Nizami, and the Sultan Azlan Shah Fellow, Lord Phillips, who also presided over the session.
In his lecture, Lord Woolf explored the concept of the rule of law in its various aspects before identifying its importance as a means of providing a constructive framework for people of all faiths to follow their traditions in an atmosphere of freedom and tolerance. In subsequent discussion an important theme was the balance between freedom of expression and respect for the beliefs of others. Lord Woolf argued that both were valid and important human rights principles.
The Sultan Azlan Shah Fellowship is named after Malaysia’s first Chief Justice, and Sultan of Perak, who established a lecture series, by distinguished English lawyers, in Malaysia. At the most welcome suggestion of the present Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, this series is to be brought to Oxford, with lecturers who have spoken in Malaysia being invited also to speak under the auspices of the Centre, further developing the activities linked to the Azlan Shah Fellowship.