The civilian judicial system in the West Bank and Gaza: present and future

The ICJ believes that for normal civil life to resume in the West Bank and Gaza, there is a need for a strong, confident and competent judiciary. The ICJ decided to study the present and future status of the Palestinian civilian courts.

The ICJ identified the goals of this Mission to be:

  1. to review the status of the civilian courts,
  2. to identify the problem areas inconsistent with the proper working of a judicial system under the Rule of Law,
  3. to make constructive criticism and offer recommendations aimed at making the civil nucleus for a proper civil judiciary under a Palestinian self-governing authority, and
  4. to acquaint itself with the current human rights situation in the Occupied Territories.

The Mission took place from 8 to 19 December 1993. It was followed by a Seminar entitled “Towards an Independent Palestinian Judiciary” in Ramallah on 20 and 21 December 1993. The seminar was organised by the ICJ/CIJL in collaboration with al-Haq, the ICJ West Bank affiliate.

The aim of the Seminar was to share the Mission’s findings and conclusions with Palestinian jurists in order to enhance their knowledge of the role and functioning of an independent judiciary.

The report contains: an Introduction, a Note on the political and legal history, Part 1. The Civilian Courts under Israeli Military Occupation, Part 2. The Future Legal System. With Annexes and Basic texts.

West Bank & Gaza-civilian judicial system-fact finding mission report-1994-eng (full text in English, PDF)
West Bank & Gaza-civilian judicial system-fact finding mission report-1994-fra (full text in French, PDF)
West Bank & Gaza-civilian judicial system-fact finding mission report-1994-ara (full text in Arabic, PDF)

Fact-finding mission reportsReports