Press Release

Palestinian Lawyers Boycott Celebrations organised by the Appointed Council of the Bar Association

Date: 11 July 2000

Ref: 92/2000

On 9 July 2000 the Appointed Council of the Palestinian Bar Association extended invitation to celebrate the Palestinian Lawyers Day, five months before the date on which this occasion is usually celebrated.

However, in spite of the widely published invitation, PCHR was informed that only fifty lawyers, out of 900 members of the Bar Association’s general assembly, participated in the celebrations.

On 8 July 2000, PCHR issued a press release in which it described the celebrations as an attempt by the members of the council to impose themselves as representatives of Palestinian lawyers while side stepping both the law and the will of the lawyers themselves.

In the press release PCHR expressed its deep concern at the continued assumption of function by the council after the expiry of their term on 9 May 2000. PCHR therefore called on Palestinian lawyers to boycott the celebration.

PCHR believes that the boycott of the celebration by the overwhelming majority of lawyers is a clear message from the lawyers that the appointed council lacks legitimacy from the general assembly and that it only represents itself, since 9 May 2000, the date of the expiry of the council’s legal term.

PCHR reiterates its appeal to all lawyers to take action to put an end to the continued illegal assumption of power by the council and to take steps towards convening free and fair elections. The holding of such elections are in fact the only real way to celebrate and honor the work of Palestinian lawyers.