Law students, researchers explore measures to hold Palestinian government accountable in comparative law seminar

Students enrolled in the comparative public law course joined members of the Promising Researchers group in a discussion on government accountability as part of a series of seminars organized by the Constitutional Law Unit of the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Birzeit University on Saturday, April 13, 2019. 

The seminar featured George Giacaman, a professor of philosophy and cultural studies at Birzeit University, who reviewed the historical development of the Palestinian political apparatus − and the limitations created by the Oslo Accords − and the emergence of government accountability mechanisms, such as periodic elections, independent media, and active civil society organizations.  

Discussing the causes of political and administrative corruption in Palestine, Giacaman pointed to the clientelism-based political apparatus and raised questions on the best method by which the rule of law can be enforced in the Palestinian context with limited sovereignty under occupation. 

Rashad Twam, coordinator of the Constitutional Law Unit, explored the possibility of requiring a future Palestinian parliament to provide budget statements for the years in which it was inactive. He reviewed the validity of the consensus-based decision-making process inherited from the Palestine Liberation Organization and the impact of this process on the modern Palestinian government.

At the end of the lecture, the participants raised questions on the value of the revolutions sparked during the Arab Spring, the relationship between the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the readiness of a new Palestinian government to tackle the political stalemate.