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Palestine Archives Guide: Palestine

Archives Guides

Guide last updated by Clare Cowling, July 2023

This guide was created by Clare Cowling, IALS Archivist.


IALS Archives subject guide: records in the IALS Archives
Legal Education in Palestine 

The records below, which hold specific references to Palestine, were transferred to the Records of Legal Education Archives (now subsumed into the IALS Archives) by individuals and organisations with a particular interest in legal education, both the UK and abroad. 

All the records listed may be viewed by prior appointment in the IALS Library.  Requests for an appointment to examine any of the records should be made to the Archivist (

Related material: though there are only a few specific references to Palestine in the records of the Archives, there is doubtless much information of relevance in the records covering the middle east generally.  For these records see the IALS Archives Subject Guide: Colonialism, Decolonisation and the Law. To browse the Archives catalogues for more information see this link:

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Sir William Dale: Papers, 1930s-2003

Biographical history:  Sir William Leonard Dale (1906–2000), lawyer and civil servant, was born on 17 June 1906 at The Rectory, Preston in Holderness, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the elder son and eldest of the three children of the Revd William Dale (1852–1934), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Rose (1870–1963), daughter of Herbert Leonard, farmer, of Marfleet, Yorkshire.

After Hymers College, Hull, Dale entered into articles with solicitors in the city. After an external London University LLB, he read for the bar, supporting himself on a Gray's Inn scholarship and occasional appointments as a suburban church organist. Call in 1931 was followed by a London pupillage, practice briefly on the north-eastern circuit, and a return to chambers in the Temple. He then joined an English solicitor practising in Jaffa. In 1935 he applied for a legal post in the Colonial Office. On 12 September 1936 he married his second cousin, Emma Patricia Goulton (Biddy) Leonard (b. 1910/11), daughter of Thomas Goulton Leonard, stockbroker, but she was soon diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis and the marriage ended in divorce in 1943. On 30 November 1948 he married Elizabeth Romeyn Elwyn (1922-2002), an American architect, but that marriage, too, was childless, and they were divorced in 1953. She subsequently married the architect Henry Thomas (Jim) Cadbury-Brown.

Dale moved to an administrative position in the wartime Ministry of Supply in 1940, returning to the Colonial Office after VJ-day to the legal complexities of Raja Brooke's cession of Sarawak to the British crown. He was made CMG in 1951, in which year he fielded a request to identify a legal adviser for the new kingdom of Libya by promptly volunteering himself. He returned in 1953, despite the Libyan government's entreaties to stay on as a Supreme Court judge.

A move to the Ministry of Education in 1954 produced a change of work. But Lord Hailsham's arrival as minister in 1957 led to clashes, to which Dale responded by declaring himself semi-redundant, and taking up work for half the day at the Foreign Office. In 1961 he became the legal adviser to the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO), and in the following year he was seconded to the central Africa office to help deal with the break-up of the Central African Federation. He was promoted KCMG in 1965, and retired a year later, a period which spanned the CRO's amalgamation with his old department, but not the final merger into a single Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In London on 17 June 1966, his last day in service, he married Gloria Finn (b. 1922), textile designer, of Washington, DC, daughter of Charles Spellman, stockbroker. They had one daughter, Rosemary.

A spell in the law officers' department (1967–68) was followed by a decision to move to Beirut as general counsel to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. Return home in 1973 opened the most productive and creative phase of Dale's legal life, and a working partnership with Kutlu Fuad, head of the legal division in the Commonwealth Secretariat, which had been founded in Dale's CRO days. First came a study of how to provide competent Commonwealth draftsmen, commuted into a fuller investigation into what legislative style would best meet the needs of newly independent countries, and unlocking Dale's interest in simpler approaches to writing statutes. Then came the call to take over the Government Legal Advisers course (another Dale–CRO creation), through which over the next quarter-century Dale persuaded eminent British figures into nurturing the practical skills of generations of overseas lawyers. The final flowering came in the decision of London University's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) to found a centre for legislative studies in Dale's honour on his ninetieth birthday. The mark of his continuing vigour and determination lay in his becoming its founding Director and establishing a firm base for its activity before stepping down shortly before his death.

Selected items:

DALE 01/02: Personal correspondence and papers of Sir William Dale, 1933-2003

Reference Title Dates
DALE 01/02/02

Letters to ‘Leon’ [a barrister at 3 Dr Johnson’s Buildings, The Temple?] from Dale. Describing his experiences of living and working in Palestine, and his interest in working for the Colonial Office, 9 November 1933 to 14 November [1934].

Together with a playbill for the Edward Stirling and the English Player’s production of ‘The Return Journey’ by Arnold Bennett, 2nd Palestine season, c1936.


DALE 02: Diaries of Sir William Dale, c1933-c1996

Reference Title Dates
DALE 02/01

Dale’s diary while working as an advocate in Palestine, November 1933 to June 1935.


DALE 03: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) papers, 1994-2008

Scope and content: Dale’s IALS papers relating to the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) Palestinian project.

Reference Title Dates

DALE 03/01

Reports, correspondence, memoranda, notes, faxes and other papers relating to the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) engagement of IALS to study the existing Palestinian legal infrastructure of the Gaza Strip and to recommend suitable financial and technical assistance.  [Sir William Dale was appointed one of the expert advisers appointed to the project by IALS]. 


  • ‘Towards the Restoration of the Palestinian Independent Judicial Authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip’, report, June 1994.
  • ‘The Draft Basic Law for the Palestinian National Authority for the Transitional Period’, report by Dr Anis Al-Qasem, 2 December 1994.
  • ‘Report on  Visits to the Palestinian Occupied Territories’, annotated typescript report by Dr Anis Al-Qasem, 8 February 1995. Two copies.


DALE 03/02

Reports, correspondence, memoranda, notes, faxes and other papers relating to the above Gaza project.


Drafts of ‘Report of a Study of the needs of the Gaza Legal Infrastructure by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’, 1995.

  • ‘Note by Sir William Dale on Preliminary Discussion Draft of “Law for the Encouragement of Investment in Palestine”’, 16 November 1994.
  • ‘Sir William Dale. Summary of Professional Experience’, August 1994.
  • Curriculum Vitae for Dr Anis Mustafa Al-Qasem (died 2020 or January 2021).


DALE 03/03

‘Palestinian National Authority. Report on Legal Infrastructure in Gaza. Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Under Assignment from the Overseas Development Administration)’, 17 February 1995.

Together with related correspondence between Professor Barry A K Rider, IALS Director, and Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, Minister of State for Overseas Development Administration. Concerning the Institute’s work in assisting the Palestine National Authority, 8 to 28 December 1995.


DALE 03/04

Correspondence, memoranda, notes and other papers concerning a proposal to establish a working group at IALS to give assistance on legal matters to the Palestine Authority, 1995.


  • ‘Report on Visit to Jerusalem and Gaza, 1st to 6th 1995’, by Eugene Cotran, 24 April 1995.



DALE 04/01: Research notes written by Sir William Dale, 1934-1998

Reference Title Dates

DALE 04/01/01

Photocopy of ‘Palestine’, an article by Sir William Dale in the Hymerian, pp 117-120, March 1934.


DALE 04/01/02

Typescript report: ‘The Levant Fair, Tel-Aviv, 1934. Report on “British Section”. G/5417. Ref X 17’, by anonymous author, 1934.


DALE 06: Newspaper cuttings, early 20th century-2000

Reference Title Dates
DALE 06/02

Newspaper cutting: ‘UNRWA’s Legal Advisor. Distinguished Career Behind Dale’s Work’, reporting on Dale’s appointment as General Consul of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), 1968.


DALE 08: Papers relating to tributes and memorials to Sir William Dale, c.1953-2000

Reference Title Dates
DALE 08/02

‘Farewell to Sir William’, typescript speech or memorandum by Pascal Karmy ‘…and his colleagues’, relating to Sir William Dale’s retirement as General Consul [of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)], 2 July 1973.


DALE 09: Certificates relating to Sir William Dale, 1922-1978

Reference Title Dates
DALE 09/05

‘Framed and signed licence admitting Mr [later Sir] William Dale to practice as an Advocate before the Civil Courts of Palestine, 30 July 1934.


Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library (IALSLIB): Manuscript Material relating to Legal Education and Research

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library (IALSLIB): Manuscript Material relating to Legal Education and Research

Scope and content: the mss comprise a collection of donated or purchased items relating to legal education and research, 1870-1936. Several are undated.  In some cases the provenance is unknown, as the transaction, whether by purchase or donation, was unrecorded; in some other cases the author of the documents is also unknown.

Selected items:

IALSLIB 10: GOADBY, Frederick Maurice: notes, memoranda and annotated typescripts 1924-1939

Archives reference Original Library reference Title Dates


a/c 48687

“Memoranda, judgements etc as to law and jurisprudence in matters of personal status, correspondence [and] memoranda, notes of cases relating to private international law, mainly in Cyprus, Palestine and Egypt” (as per handwritten notes on original file cover, front and back); includes letters, press clippings and papers dated 1930-1937.  Purchased 7 Nov 1957


International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

International Law Association (ILA): Archives, 1866-2019

Administrative History: the International Law Association (ILA) was founded in Brussels in 1873 as an association 'to consist of Jurists, Economists, Legislators, Politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and Codification of Public and Private International Law, the Settlement of Disputes by Arbitration, and the assimilation of the laws, practice and procedure of the Nations in reference to such laws' (afternoon sitting of the first conference of members, 19 November 1873: reference ILA 01/01). It was initially called the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, changing its title to the International Law Association in the early 20th century. 

The Association was to consist of a Council of officers comprising a President, vice presidents, secretaries and other members of the Conference (called the Bureau), plus a series of local, departmental or provincial committees who were to report to the President. These committees have since expanded into International Committees. The ILA's activities are now organised by an Executive Council, assisted by the Headquarters Secretariat in London. Membership of the Association, at present about 4,200, is spread among branches throughout the world and ranges from lawyers in private practice, academia, industrial and financial spheres, and representatives of bodies such as shipping and arbitration organisations and chambers of commerce. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organisation, with a number of the United Nations specialised agencies. 

The ILA's objectives are pursued primarily through the work of its International Committees and the focal point of its activities is the series of Biennial Conferences. These conferences, of which over 70 have so far been held in different locations throughout the world, provide a forum for the comprehensive discussion and endorsement of the work of the committees.

Selected items:

ILA 04/48 International Law Association in Israel, 1953-1988

Reference Title Dates

Chiefly administrative correspondence concerning membership and subscriptions, nominations to International Committees, reports of branch activities, and conference attendance. Includes typescript 'Tension Between Peoples as a Problem of International Law', text adapted from an address in Hebrew given by Dr. Charles Boasson before the Israel branch of the ILA, 1953; responses to the Soviet 'diploma' tax on educationally qualified emigrants from the Soviet Union (1972-1973); Israel's relations with the UN Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) (1974).


ILA 06 Library material, 1866-1969

Reference Title Dates
ILA 06/32

Pamphlets relating to Palestine:

  • ‘The Palestine Deception: “Daily Mail” Inquiry on the Spot’ by J.M.N. Jeffries, [1922-1923].
  • The Hebrew University Jerusalem 1925-1926, annual report, 1926.
  • ‘The British Weekly Supplement on Palestine’, November 012, 1936.