BZU professor examines recent Supreme Constitutional Court decision

The Vice President of Community Affairs and Professor of Constitutional Law at Birzeit University Dr. Asim Khalil, and the Professor of Constitutional Law at An-Najah University Dr. Sana Al-Sarghali, explored the recent Supreme Constitutional Court decision on international agreements in the radio show “The Jurisdiction Forum Program.”

The radio show, produced by the Civil Commission for the independence of Judiciary and Rule of Law (ISTIQLAL) in cooperation with 24FM Radio, was presented by the legal expert and journalist Majed Al-Arouri.

The show discussed the legality and implications of the Supreme Constitutional Court’s decision No.12 for the judicial year 2. The decision, which relates to the status of international agreements, was issued on November 19, 2017, after referral from the Magistrate’s Court in the lawsuit No.487/2016.

Dr. Khalil noted that the decision, which he labeled as legally ambiguous, was issued by an entity that did not have the legal jurisdiction to issue a new rule that regulates the status of international agreements in the Palestinian legal system.

He said, “The Palestinian constitutional legislature is the only entity which has jurisdiction to modify constitutional codes relevant to the subject. Having the jurisdiction rule on the status of international agreements in the case presented before it, the court ruling on the merits of the case should have ruled on the case without referral to the Supreme Constitutional Court. As such, the Supreme Court’s decision is considered unbinding.”

Dr. Khalil considered the ruling as giving the executive branch unfettered powers, due to the lack of a mechanism that regulates the approval of international agreements, and ignoring the concepts of bilateral international agreements and human rights covenants.

The Professor of Constitutional Law added, “The decision directly contradicts the provisions of the Constitutional Law, as it prioritized the International Community as a legislature with jurisdiction similar to that Palestinian legislature. Moreover, the decision is riddled with legal complications both on the international and local levels.”

You can listen to the show by visiting this link