Presidential Decree Affirms Independence of Palestinian Judiciary
Date: 27th September, 1999
On 19 September1999, the President of the Palestinian Authority issued Presidential Decree 28/99, which reaffirmed the jurisdiction and the mandate of the Palestinian Chief Justice. The Chief Justice’s jurisdiction has been subjected to intervention and interference in the last four years. This interference has contributed to undermine the independence of the Palestinian Judiciary and obstructed the proper operation of the justice system. The Presidential Decree affirmed once and for all that the administration of the judiciary is mandated to the Chief Justice, the head of the High Court of Justice of Palestine. It also affirmed that no other person or office is authorised to intervene or interfere in judicial affairs.
PCHR expresses its deep satisfaction with the Presidential Decree and believes it is a positive step towards ensuring the independence of the judiciary and respect for the office of Chief Justice and his mandate. PCHR sees this step continuing positively the direction set by the recent appointments of the Chief Justice and the Attorney General and the passing of the Law Organising the Legal Profession. All these are positive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority to support the Palestinian judiciary and justice system.
PCHR hopes that the Presidential Decree will be followed by other measures in this track including, inter alia, passing the Law Regarding the Independence of the Judiciary, the formation of a Higher Judicial Council and the allocation of an independent budget for the administration of justice. It is also necessary that the Palestinian Judiciary be protected from the intervention of any other public offices, and in particular action must be taken against those law enforcement agencies who continue to defy the Courts’ ruling and orders.
Finally PCHR hopes that the Presidential Decree will contribute to the strengthening of the Palestinian judiciary and to improving the operation of the Courts, thus contributing to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in Palestine.
For More Information Contact:
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Tel/Fax: (+) 9727 2824776/2823725