The Palestinian court system is subjected to rapid changes that risk causing irreparable damage to the rule of law and access to justice. An independent judiciary is one of the three branches of government and an essential element to successful state building, including in Palestine. Yet, the current flurry of reforms put forward by the government seems to go the opposite way, undermining separation of powers by solidifying executive control over the judiciary and narrowing personal independence of judges. All the while, international partners and donor countries, who are officially committed to a Palestinian state as part of a peace settlement, have failed to extract the necessary political commitment from Palestinian counterparts to genuine rule of law reform that would bring them in line with binding obligations under international human rights treaties.

Author: Mikael Ekman (Legal Advisor at ILAC).