Employment security clearance examined in legal roundtable

Supported by the H.H. Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Chair, the Constitutional Law Unit at Birzeit University organized a roundtable to discuss the criteria for security clearance for access to employment. The meeting was held in response to the intervention of the Ministry of Culture and Information, and the Ministry of Interior in appointing a certain manager at  a local radio station.

The participants noted that the Amended Regulation on the Licensing of Stations in 2009 violates the Basic Law prohibiting any censorship of media, alluding to the fact that such intervention contradicts the principles of freedom, equality, and privacy.

The discussion reaffirmed that the conditions for security clearance constitute an exception to the non-discrimination principle and should always be viewed within that context. The attendees concluded the discussion with recommendations that advocate for, among others, the drafting of a law regulating the security clearance employment condition; an official designation of the jobs that require the security clearance condition; and a requirement that the job applicants be notified of such a condition.  

The Constitutional Law Unit, at the conclusion of the roundtable discussion, issued a position paper that sheds light on the implications of adopting such a condition for access to employment. The paper implores the Palestinian Legislative Council, among other political institutions, to draft a law that regulates all aspects of media and journalism and frees them from the control and monitoring of the security agencies.