Students, promising researchers examine relation between law, rights in comparative law seminar

Students enrolled in the comparative public law course joined members of the Promising Researchers group to explore the relationship between rights, freedoms, and the law in a seminar organized by the Constitutional Law Unit of the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at Birzeit University on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Shawan Jabarin, director general of Al-Haq and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights, discussed the international nature of human rights − arguing against the notion that they originate and are only applied in the West − and asserted Palestine’s commitment toward human rights treaties and conventions, the illegality of torture under any and all circumstances, and the necessity of civil-society oversight over the government. 

Rashad Twam, coordinator of the Constitutional Law Unit, explored the nature of the relationship between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian human-rights organizations, the impact of civil-society institutions on that relation, and the stance of local institutions on the PA’s accession without reservations to many international human-rights treaties. 

At the end of the seminar, the attendees discussed the impact of the oversight exercised by Palestinian human-rights organizations on the PA and the role of civil-society institutions in raising awareness of human rights in Palestine. 

This is the fifth and final seminar in the series. The first featured Wasim Abu Fasheh in a discussion of the nature of the Palestinian political apparatus; the second session, featuring Azmi Shuaibi, focused on the role of parliament and on public representation in Palestine’s legislature; the third session featured Ali Jarbawi and revolved around the executive branch’s role in the Palestinian government; and the fourth session, featuring George Giacaman, explored government accountability.