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The Draft Law Amending the Law of Penal Procedure

Ramallah – On Thursday, 26 June 2008, the Palestinian Ministry of Justice held a workshop on the Draft Law Amending the Law of Penal Procedure, which is currently presented on the Palestinian Council of Ministers' agenda. In his opening remarks, Dr. Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice, confirmed his interest to explore opinions of relevant stakeholders regarding the amendments proposed in the Draft Law. With the ultimate aim to serve public interest, the Draft Law also seeks to promote justice and facilitate citizens' access to their rights before the judiciary without any undue delay.

In addition to the Minister of Justice, the workshop brought together the Attorney General, Legal Advisor to the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Head of the Bureau of Legal Counsel and Legislation, senior lawyers, as well as representatives of civil society organisations, Bar Association and faculties of law at Palestinian universities.

To elaborate proposed amendments, articles under the Draft Law Amending the Law of Penal Procedure were reviewed and compared to those of the operative Law. In their comments, participants commented on whether conditions of summary action are required or not. They also discussed the desired impact of amendments along with certain detailed formal and thematic aspects under the new Draft Law.

At the end of the workshop, discussants agreed to incorporate comments and observations onto a memorandum to be dispatched by the Minister of Justice to the Council of Ministers for examination. These will certainly inform the decision to be made in relation to the proposed Draft Law. It is worth highlighting that the workshop was organised by the Ministry of Justice with relevant support from the Institute of Law at Birzeit University.