This post comes to you from Muscat, Oman. I’m here under the auspices of the Rule of Law Initiative of the American Bar Association, at the request of the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Legal Affairs.
Yesterday I held my “Language and Layout” seminar for a team of Ministry lawyers responsible for reviewing and drafting contracts that agencies of the Omani government enter into. Given the increasing business activity in Oman, they have plenty of work on their hands. This morning we discussed, in an informal manner, issues relating to contract language and the process of drafting contracts. I don’t want to embarrass my Omani hosts by saying too many nice things about them in a public forum—let’s just say that I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
I was reminded, once again, that it doesn’t matter where in the world you are—if you draft or review contracts in English, you face the issue of how to avoid endlessly recycling dysfunctional contract language.
I thank the Ministry of Legal Affairs for its great hospitality, and I look forward to hearing from its lawyers whether they’ve been able to make use of the approaches we discussed.
As a rule, I find that tourism and business trips don’t mix all that well, and this trip is no exception. But I’ll spend tomorrow morning driving around Muscat with my ABA minder, Joe McDonough. Then I’ll be catching a flight to Bahrain, where I’ll be holding a seminar for the Kingdom of Bahrain Directorate of Legal Affairs.
If you’d like to find out more about my trip, see this ABA press release.