Event Reports

Legal transformation as a stumbling block: What the Palestinians can learn from the experiences of Germany and Europe

Field visit of six recognized Palestinian legal experts to Germany, France and Luxembourg.

From 18 to 25 September 2010 six Palestinians will get the opportunity to learn from the complex German-European experiences regarding legal transformation. The fact that the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Ramallah is organizing such a trip derives from its fundamental principles and beliefs. From the outset, the KAS Ramallah dedicated itself to the establishment of a functioning Rule of Law in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. This results from the consideration that the unique burden of history forced Germany to build a prospering Rule of Law out of a totalitarian regime. Despite the fact that the experiences of the Palestinians are completely different, there are parallels regarding the construction of a community with legal certainty.

Hence, the Institute of Law (IoL) at Birzeit University is one of the strategic partners of KAS Ramallah. This cooperation is boosting the consistent interpretation of legal texts in the Territories. 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. The situation in Europe is fundamentally different. But even Germany is confronted with different layers of laws, which must be harmonized constantly in order to avoid conflicts.

By visiting the Bundestag, the participants will obtain an insight into the institution, which – due to the further development of the European Union – faces some shifts in competences. In Karlsruhe they will learn how the Constitutional Court ensures the legality of the legal transformation. Through discussions at the Federal Court of Justice the participants will be enabled to expand their knowledge about the German legal system. Through the visit of the EU institutions, they will get an impression how the EU level increasingly influences the national legislation. In Luxembourg it will be possible for them to understand 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 will be evident in Strasbourg.

This field visit will give the participants the opportunity to learn from the experiences of Germany and Europe which were not always straightforward and are therefore even more significant. This acquirement of knowledge could be used in a beneficiary way to strengthen the Rule of Law in the Palestinian Territories.