Ramallah & Gaza
Wednesday 13-12-2017 – Ramallah and Gaza: MUSAWA – The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, supported by Sawasya, the UNDP/UN Women/UNICEF Joint Programme ‘Promoting the Rule of Law in the State of Palestine’ (2014-2018), held the eighth annual Palestinian justice conference. The conference took place at the halls of the Palestine Read Crescent Society in Al-Bireh and Gaza via videoconference.
The conference, titled “Where is the Justice System Heading in Light of the Reconciliation?” aimed at shedding light on the key challenges to the reform and unification of the justice sector in the context of reconciliation. Twelve papers were presented by an array of local and international experts, who represented a variety of Palestinian as well as international bodies and organizations. At the end of the conference, the floor was open for discussion and recommendations. It is worth mentioning that MUSAWA took into consideration the necessities of persons with special needs by facilitating their movement into and out of the conference halls, in addition to providing translation into Sign language throughout the conference both in the West Bank and Gaza. About 390 people from the West Bank and Gaza participated in the conference.
The conference began with introductory notes from the Palestinian Bar Association, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Palestinian territory (OHCHR oPt), the Netherlands Representative Office (NRO), SAWASYA, and MUSAWA. In his speech, Adv. Amjad Al-Shilleh, a member of the Bar, said, “The justice system today has a lot of complexities, and justice is still under the control of the executive authority. This requires all of us; lawyers and judges, to work hard towards the unification of this system, given that the political atmosphere affects the system”.
“National reconciliation is the first and most fundamental step in ending the division and unifying the legislative and executive systems on the ground, which must coincide with serious and practical steps towards the holding of legislative and presidential elections and the activation of the Legislative Council”, stressed Dr. Varsen Shahin, the General Commissioner of the ICHR.
The conference was divided into three consecutive panels, each of which was followed by a Q&A session. The panels were facilitated by a number of lawyers and specialists, and each one covered four papers on the following topics: “Towards building a professional and impartial Palestinian justice system”, “Towards a genuine Palestinian commitment to the incorporation of international human rights conventions into the national legislation”, and “Good governance and the rule of law are the indicators of a successful reconciliation”.
The conference was closed with an invitation from MUSAWA for the participants to express their views and give their recommendations to be presented to the decision-makers. A joint effort will be made to make sure that those in control will adopt the proposed visions and put them into effect.
In order to strengthen the rule of law and promote the independence of the judiciary, MUSAWA calls on decision-makers to take serious steps on the ground to reform and unify the justice system, ensuring fair and effective solutions to the problems which may have arose due to the decade-long division. We hope that the reconciliation will bear fruit and achieve its desired goals.
It should be noted that the conference was supported by Ajyal Radio Network (media partner) and the Global United Insurance Company (insurance police sponsor).