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High Ranking Palestinian Legal Experts Meet the KAS Chairman Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, MEP

On invitation of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), six high ranking Palestinian legal experts have visited Germany, Luxembourg and France from September 19th to September 24th. The delegation consisted of six representatives of the Palestinian politics and administration, i.e. the director of the Legislative Planning Department of the Prime Minister’s Office or the director general of the Legal Department of the Palestinian Parliament, as well as the deans and directors of the Departments of Law at several Palestinian universities.

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For one week, the legal experts had the opportunity to inform themselves about the complex German-European experiences in the area of legal transformation. On September 21st, the delegation visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg and was greeted by the chairman of KAS and former President of the European Parliament, Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering. Citing the example of the European integration process since the end of the Second World War, Dr. Pöttering emphasized the importance of the Rule of Law for the development of a democratic Palestinian state. Thereby he stressed the fact, that Europe is governed by “the Rule of Law and not by the Rule of Power” and underlined his desire to see this principle implemented in the Middle East as well. At the same time, Dr. Pöttering emphasized the inviolability of human dignity which shall be equal for all – Israelis and Palestinians.

The chairman of KAS, Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering with the delegation of Palestinian legal experts and the director of the KAS office in Ramallah, Felix Dane

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has been actively promoting the establishment of the Rule of Law in the Palestinian Territories through its office in Ramallah. This commitment stems from the conviction, that the particular experience of Germany and Europe would be instrumental by implementing the Rule of Law in the Palestinian Territories. Hence, the Institute of Law (IoL) at Birzeit University is one of the strategic partners of KAS Ramallah. Since 1993 it contributes to the evolution of legal structures and the Rule of Law in the Territories. Through the development of a legal database ("Al Muqtafi"), IoL established a point of reference for the development of legislation and jurisdiction. It provides access for users to a bilingual data bank containing all laws that are valid in the Territories. Furthermore, IoL carries out advanced training programs ("Legal Encounters") for Palestinian public prosecutors, judges, and lawyers to improve their standards and skills. The KAS Ramallah also supports the Palestinian Business Law Guide which aims to lead potential investors into the new business and regulatory environment in the Palestinian Territories. Therefore, the cooperation with IoL is boosting the consistent interpretation of legal texts.

Particularly the latter point is of utmost importance for the work in the Palestinian Territories because the genesis of the Palestinian law is extremely complex. The existing Palestinian legal provisions are made up of customary law, Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Egyptian law, and Israeli military orders. In addition, the Territories are divided politically and geographically. For some years now, Hamas has been developing its own judiciary in the Gaza Strip. The situation in Europe is fundamentally different, but even Germany is confronted with different layers of laws. State legislation, Federal legislation, and European legislation must be harmonized constantly in order to avoid conflicts.

These parallels made a visit of the six high ranking Palestinian legal experts to Germany so important. Since part of their work is the drafting of laws and presidential decrees, they learned from the German experiences concerning the legal transformation in Europe. Especially in the realm of economic integration and its subsequent policies, the unified Europe experienced epochal changes.

By visiting the Bundestag, the participants obtained an insight into the institution, which – due to the further development of the European Union – faces some shifts in competences. In Karlsruhe they learned how the Constitutional Court ensures the legality of the legal transformation. Through discussions at the Federal Court of Justice the participants were enabled to expand their knowledge about the German legal system. Through the visit of the EU institutions, they received an impression how the EU level increasingly influences the national legislation. In Luxembourg they learned how the European Court of Justice works and why its judgments make headlines well beyond Europe. That the European Parliament has obtained more power after the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty was evident in Strasbourg, where the delegation met at the European Parliament with Michael Gahler, MEP.

This field visit gave the participants the opportunity to learn from the experiences of Germany and Europe which were not always straightforward and are therefore even more significant. The acquired knowledge shall be beneficiary to the legal experts in their endeavour to strengthen the Rule of Law in the Palestinian Territories.

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Gruppenfoto mit Dr. Pöttering Felix Dane
Gruppenfoto Felix Dane
Gruppenfoto Felix Dane
Fayez Moh'd Bkirat und Jamal I. al-Khatib Felix Dane
Staunende Gesichter Felix Dane


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