The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM conducts an online public debate entitled: “The renewed declaration of the state of emergency between the exigencies of necessity and the supremacy of the constitution”
the national legal framework governing the state of emergency in Palestine
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development—REFORM conducts an online public debate entitled: “The renewed declaration of the state of emergency between the exigencies of necessity and the supremacy of the constitution” with the participation of Fadi Abbas, a lawyer, and Majed Al-Aruri, Executive Director of the Civil Commission for the independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law-ISTIQLAL. This session aimed to discuss the extension of the declaration of the state of emergency in the Palestinian Territories, the national legal framework governing the state of emergency in Palestine represented by the Basic Law and the legal extent of the renewal of the state of emergency in light of the disruption of the Legislative Council. The participants further discussed various scenarios after the extension of the state of emergency is over.
The facilitator, Mr. Ahmad Alyan, a lawyer, initiated the debate by discussing the legal framework governing the state of emergency in Palestine. The state of emergency may be extended for another thirty days only in one case, which is the approval of the Palestinian Legislative Council by a two-thirds majority of its members. However, the explicit article did not provide any alternatives in the case of the absence of the Legislative Council, which constitutes an obstacle that reflects a deep crisis that is affecting the entire Palestinian political system. As the Palestinian-Palestinian division in July 2007 disrupted the work of the Legislative Council and crippled its ability to exercise its original legislative and oversight role in accordance with Article (47) of the Amended Basic Law of 2003. In turn, this resulted in the loss of the most important official tool for monitoring and accountability for the performance of the executive authority.
Mr. Majed Al-Aruri highlighted the extent of the legality of extending the emergency declaration, in light of the failure of the Legislative Council. He stated: “It is not possible to discuss the legality of the state of emergency in the absence of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which caused most of the country’s constitutional life to be disrupted since 2006.” He further indicated that the current crisis requires us to think about how to return to constitutional life.
promoting democratic culture in the Palestinian society
Additionally, Mr. Fadi Abbas, indicated that the Palestinian Bar Association is based on the provisions of the Palestinian Basic Law. He further stressed the necessity of acquiring an effective legislative council that performs its oversight role, as it is a national need after 13 years of division. Mr. Abbas also stated that the Palestinian people desperately need a legislative council because it is able to stop the legislative bleeding that has occurred 13 years ago, given that some unnecessary legislations were issued. Furthermore, he stressed that imposing the “Deal of the Century” should be a catalyst for national unity, reaching legislative elections and holding parliamentary elections by electing a Legislative Council.
One of the young participants, Suhaib Obaidat, said that the absence of general election procedures led to a decline in youth participation in the political and social spheres. He also stated that the continuing disruption of the work of the Legislative Council has further deepened the loss of the most important formal instrument of oversight and accountability, thus leading to the absence of the role of the Legislative Council in monitoring and accountability for government actions. As a result, the situation of non-principled competition even among persons affiliated with the political system is continued, where those in power are not held accountable for their actions.
At the end of the session, the participants recommended the necessity of restoring the role of the Legislative Council in building civil society, promoting democratic culture in Palestinian society, deepening the principle of citizenship, developing fundamental changes in social, economic, cultural and political structures and employing the energies and efforts of all social components, including young men and women. They young participants also demanded the necessity of restoring the effectiveness of the Legislative Council in strengthening Palestinian sovereignty by issuing laws and decisions that regulate the lives of citizens and institutions, limiting the spread of corruption, and strengthening the principle of oversight to protect society’s integrity and preserve its strength, which also contributes to strengthening the world’s support for the Palestinian cause, especially through world parliaments. The young men and women also stressed the necessity of issuing a presidential decree specifying the date for holding legislative and presidential elections within a maximum period of six months. These suggestions aim to strengthen the culture of democracy and values, develop the spirit youth and women to conduct initiatives and actions, spread principles of social justice, respect public freedoms, develop mechanisms for community dialogue and promote civil peace.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The project also seeks to foster civic engagement by providing safe and interactive spaces that link young activists with decision-makers to bridge the gaps between them by knowledge sharing. It aims to enhance the participation of young women and men in advocating for positive change in democratic processes through monitoring public policies, drafting policy papers, and providing policy suggestions.
To achieve this, the project provides the social and political activists with the ability to engage in a deep analysis of power dynamics between different social components and points of access through facilitating public debates. “PARTAKE II” increases youth’s awareness in democratic processes and enhances their abilities in pressuring policymakers to hold elections with their participation.