The Official Opening Ceremony of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at Charles Clore House was held on 1st April 1976.

image of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at the IALS opening ceremony in 1976

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Chancellor of the University of London, honoured the Institute by coming to open the new premises, Charles Clore House, on the corner of Russell Square and Bedford Way. Her Majesty was greeted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Camden (Councillor and Mrs B. J. Taylor), the Vice-Chancellor (Dr F. Hartley) and the Principal (Dr F.M.G. Willson) of the University, the Chairman of the Committee of Management (Lord Diplock) and the Chairman of the Council of Management of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (Lord Denning), together with the Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (Professor Sir Norman Anderson) and the Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (Professor K.R. Simmonds).

Sir Charles Clore kindly provided champagne to celebrate the occasion in the Second Floor Reading Room of the Library, where further presentations were made to the Chancellor - including members of the General Purposes Sub-Committee, overseas visiting scholars and a number of postgraduate students. Her Majesty became so involved in some conversations that the detailed time-table was soon abandoned and in fact she stayed half an hour longer than expected. Before leaving, the Chancellor very graciously presented a signed photograph of herself to Lord Diplock. This is now hung in the Conference Room on the ground floor.

Speech of Welcome to the Chancellor, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, by the Rt. Hon. Lord Diplock

Your Majesty and Chancellor:

It is a great pleasure and honour to me, Ma'am, as Chairman of the Committee of Managment of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies ... to welcome you here this afternoon and to express to you the gratitude of both Institutes for your gracious response to our request that you should come and open our new building. I should also like to welcome a number of distinguished guests both from this country and from abroad.

It was some sixteen years ago that Professor Sir David Hughes Parry and Professor Norman Anderson had the vision of a new building which would provide adequate accommodation both for the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, of which they were then respectively Chairman of the Committee of Management and Director, and also for the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, which has had then been founded very recently by Lord Denning from the Grotius Society and the Society of Comparative Legislation and International Law. Part of this vision was that a spacious building, which could house both Institutes, would form a focal point for visiting lawyers from all over the world, and a meeting place for practitioners, academic lawyers and persons from allied disciplines from all parts of this country.

Sir David Hughes Parry - the only person to hold the offices of Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the Court - obtained from the University a promise of this excellent site, and it was as long ago as 1961 that Mr. Denys Lasdun (whom we are pleased to welcome here this afternoon) was appointed prospective architect. Many delays followed, but the building was eventually begun in 1970. Even since then there have been a number of problems; but at last the dream of many years has been fulfilled.

We now have a building which makes adequate provision for what has grown into the best legal library in London, a Senior Common Room devoted to the memory of Mr Howard Drake (who did so much to establish the international reputation of the Institute), this Council Chamber, named after Sir David Hughes Parry, whose brother we welcome here to-day, and the Lecture Theatre below, to which this short ceremony is being relayed by television - together with seminar rooms and many other facilities.

It is now my privilege, Ma'am, on behalf of the two Institutes, to invite you to open Charles Clore House.

Address by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

I am indeed happy to be here this afternoon, to open this splendid addition to the buildings of our University.

I would like especially to thank Sir Charles Clore, without whose munificent gift of £650,000, this development would not have been achieved. It is, therefore, I think most fitting that this building is to be named in his honour.

Originally Sir Charles' generous benefaction would have covered the total costs. Unfortunately, due to unavoidable delays and the high rate of inflation there does remain a considerable deficit. But despite this, we are most grateful for several smaller, but very welcome gifts - most recently from the Government of Saudi Arabia - and a major contribution from the University Grants Committee, which provided the funds to purchase most of the furniture, and took care of all the professional fees involved.

I am delighted to know that this imaginative link has been forged between the academic world and practising lawyers from many different countries through the combined activities and contacts of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. Law is still one of the most popular subjects in our University, and the facilities for research and for postgraduate studies which this new building will provide, will, I know, be greatly appreciated by our own students and staff, as well as by many visitors from far and wide. Last year the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies registered over 1,300 readers, drawn from nearly 70 different countries, and with the opening of these magnificent new premises, I feel sure that these numbers will increase in the years ahead.

Now I have great pleasure in declaring Charles Clore House open.

Reply by the Rt.Hon. Lord Denning

Your presence here to-day, Ma'am, sets the seal on a great work. Some here today will remember the beginnings. The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies was housed in an old building in a corner of Russell Square, with quite inadequate working and library space, its staff a dedicated few led by the great exemplar Sir David Hughes Parry; and with few visiting scholars. The British Institute of International and Comparative Law, in a small set of chambers in the Temple, was struggling for survival with a few books, no money, but a dynamic Norman Marsh at the head. The intervening years have seen the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies become the greatest Law Library in England, with students thronging in from all the world over, and the British Institute of International and Comparative Law has become a hive of communication between the lawyers of the nations - from which the busy bees come and go, gathering knowledge as pollen to fertilize the dry places of law. Both Institutes owe much to the help of the Nuffield and Ford Foundations. And with this great building the way is set for further advance. Those who work here will, I trust, see in it an inspiration. This noble edifice and these fine rooms will afford a setting for greater understanding of the discipline of the law, not only in England, but throughout the world. As you have said, Ma'am, our thanks go out to Sir Charles Clore, whose great generosity has been the foundation of the whole venture: and may I add also our thanks to Mr. Barnett Shine, for it is due to his great help that the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, under the able direction of Professor Kenneth Simmonds, has been able to participate in this venture. Moreover, I would remind all of you of the great work done by Sir Noman Anderson. It is due to his immense ability, energy and enthusiasm that it has been carried through to completion.

But chiefest of all Ma'am, our thanks are to You for coming here to-day, as Chancellor of this great University of London, to send us on our way, rejoicing in the achievements of the past, and looking forward to the challenge of the future.