The Struggle for the Independence of the Judiciary in The Palestinian Authority

Judicial Independence: Cornerstone of Democracy (Shetreet & Chodosh eds., Brill, Forthcoming)

21 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2022

See all articles by Haim Sandberg

Haim Sandberg

College of Management (Israel) - School of Law

Date Written: November 10, 2022

Abstract

The judiciary of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing considerable challenges to its independence. The president of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, in power since 2004, has significant control over the process of appointing judges and can force them to retire. Given these challenging conditions, it may be surprising to discover that the Palestinian judiciary is nonetheless fighting for its independence. This chapter will focus on the struggle for independence conducted since 2004 by the Palestinian Supreme Court, which was the highest court of the Palestinian judiciary until 2016. I will show how the creation of a new Palestinian Supreme Constitutional Court served as a tool for the PA’s president to strengthen his grip on the administration of justice. My disturbing conclusion, based on original Arabic language sources, points to the weakness of the Palestinian judiciary and can serve as a warning of the dangers that lie ahead of any legal system if the basic guarantees for the independence of the judiciary are not effectively maintained. The structure of the chapter is as follows: I first present the historical and normative background of the independence of the Palestinian judiciary and then analyze chronologically the struggles for independence waged by the Palestinian Supreme Court since 2004. Concluding remarks follow.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Judicial Independence, Separation of Powers, Judiciary, Palestinian Authority, West Bank, Middle East

Suggested Citation

Sandberg, Haim, The Struggle for the Independence of the Judiciary in The Palestinian Authority (November 10, 2022). Judicial Independence: Cornerstone of Democracy (Shetreet & Chodosh eds., Brill, Forthcoming) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4273891

Haim Sandberg (Contact Author)

College of Management (Israel) - School of Law ( email )

7 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd.
P.O. Box 25072
Rishon LeZion, IL Israel 75190
Israel
972-3- 9634096 (Phone)

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