samedi, janvier 28, 2023

Malcolm Fowler

This lawyer of such renown, who had achieved so much in the field that already have been described.  I found out that we are sharing a platform with him. I was terrified I had absolutely no need to be.  He was in a very real sense I agree an ordinary person. He was ordinary in a sense that he had a common touch that was not an arrogant bone in his body.

I remember one said got over my stage fright and got to know what a wonderful human being he was. I remember how inspiring was to share those platforms.  And my goodness there was strange occasions I remember, occasions sharing with him and others far more distinguished than myself, sharing a platform in Stockholm, a wonderful city, on a beautiful day but you had some fellow feeling for the old fashioned stump of MPs in the hosting, in the bitter cold and in the rain, because as the day went on and as the brilliant speeches where delivered one after the other, you could see with some trepidation the sun slipping further down in the sky, and you knew that it was a race against time as to whether you delivered your speech before the sun disappeared and you were frozen, did we care we did not because we were led by a fine lawyer and a fine humanitarian. For him we would have walked on glass. That’s a very fine memory that I shall take away with me just something very ordinary, something that will stay with me.

I speak on behalf and suppose really on behalf of 120.000 solicitors. We have considerable and huge debts to him for supporting the cause of solicitors and their advocacy rights.  He saw that that was right and what then everybody else thought if it was right, it was right. And if it was wrong, it was wrong.  It was no room for compromise or hedging one’s bets or calculating the fiscal costs or the political …. There were no such. He was a true lawyer and he made me proud to belong to my profession.

I had delivered an earlier address following his death outside the Iraqi embassy.  I have been told an hour before. It was a poor speech.  I could hardly get my words out. But I must pool myself together as I we have been urged by other speakers who preceded me. And we must rededicate ourselves to this so important cause, a cause to which gladly he gave every conceivable waking minute.

A friend of mine, Mahmoud, of the movement, shared with me another memory of Lord Slynn and it was to do with one of the many seventeen court hearings in Europe. It was about 2 in the morning, someone suggested Lord Slynn that he should get some rest, because they were in the court in the morning.  He brushed it off. “This is too important”, was the message and no one dared to argue with him anymore.

We must remember things we learned. It makes us better people, we can hope. It will make us worthy of him. Because we all know now what he would have wanted. We know what he would have approved off. No wordily words. No tears. But a redoubling of our efforts whatever we have done and however hard we have tried. However much time we carved out from my busy schedules to do what we can for this cause that must be redoubled or in our different ways. I hope all that make sense. I am deeply moved as I spoke. And I thank you for the opportunity to come here and say these few words and it’s a privilege to know that the family are here to hear.
Thank you very much.