For the 23rd session of the UN Human
Rights Council, taking place in Geneva from 27 May – 14 June 2013, the
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Arab Organization for Human
Rights and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, jointly
submitted a written
statement, entitled “No justice or remedy for Palestinian victims
in the Israeli legal system”, regarding the abuse of Palestinian victims within
the Israeli legal system, a system which denies them their basic human rights.
Since the beginning of its occupation of the
occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Israel has committed widespread and
systematic violations of international law, including grave breaches of the
Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity.However, seeking to pursue
justice for victims within the Israeli legal system over the past few decades,
PCHR has observed how the possibility of achieving accountability for Israeli
international law violations has decreased dramatically.Various legislative
amendments and judicial decisions have imposed legal and procedural obstacles,
which preclude the possibility of effective investigations, and lead to the
denial of individual victims’ legitimate right to an effective remedy, as well
as the loss of considerable investments of time and money.
In particular, this written submission
highlights the Israeli Military Advocate General’s partial and biased treatment
of the cases arising from the oPt. Additionally, the submission presents the
procedural and legislative obstacles posed before Palestinian victims by the
Israeli Civil Court System, to systematically deny them their right to
reparation, including retribution and compensation.
The information provided in the written
statement is based on PCHR’s longstanding tradition of providing free-of-charge
legal assistance to Palestinian civilians, and is focused on the status of
civil (reparation) and criminal complaints, which have been submitted to the
Israeli authorities in relation to alleged violations of international law.
disregards its State duty, under international law, to investigate and
prosecute alleged violations of international law, and to make reparations for
breaching or violating international legal principles. Palestinian victims are
systematically denied the right to an effective judicial remedy. This has led
to the development of a culture of impunity, in which
permitted to consistently violate the rule of law without repercussion. While
victims of past crimes wait for justice, the lack of accountability continues
to give way to future violations.
Written Statement: No
justice or remedy for Palestinian victims in the Israeli legal system.